HAMBLETON, W.Va. — Dave Kyle is getting set for another head coaching stint at Tucker County after being recently approved as the Mountain Lions’ new boys basketball coach.
After a 16 year tenure, Kyle stepped down as Tucker County’s girls basketball coach back in 2001, ending a run that included 12 sectional titles 11 regional championships and four state championships (1991, 1995, 1996, 1997).
After getting married and then the birth of their first child during his final season with the Mountain Lions, Kyle decided to let someone else take over the reigns of the program – but he kept the door open in the back of his mind for an eventual return to coaching.
“I kind of thought I would want to get back into it, I just didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Kyle said. “I’ve been teaching for 32 years and I could retire, but I do have some young kids in school. So, I’ll be working probably another four years or so. I would have liked to have gotten back into (coaching) a lot earlier, but at this stage, I’m going to be looking at it one year at a time.”
Kyle, who will also stay on as the school’s athletic director, is back to full health after having open heart surgery back this past October.
“I’m doing well now and I’m ready to go,” he said. “The recovery process was pretty tough going through a 12 week cardiac rehab program three days a week. Eventually I started back to work in January half-time and then building up to full-time. I have to watch my diet and have been exercising a lot – I feel great. I feel better now than I ever did.”
Kyle takes over the Tucker County basketball program from longtime coach Tom Gutshall who retired after posting over 500 wins in over 32 years at the helm.
“You talk about pressure – a guy who advanced to the state tournament 20 times,” he said. “You take that, and then we’re losing 80 percent of our offense. We have two starters back and one other lettermen – it will definitely be a rebuilding year, but I would love to carry over that tradition that Coach Gutshall has established, having a goal of getting out of the region and getting to Charleston come March.”
As for the coaching style that he’ll bring to Tucker County?
“My philosophy will stay the same from my tenure with the girls team,” he said. “There are a lot of things we will do that Coach Gutshall did with his program, but I’ve been one to play multiple defense, mix things up a lot and try to add a little full-court pressure. We’ll use the full-court and get it out and go. There will be some changes there. I’m going to be a busy guy, but I’m ready for the challenge.”