The Wayne County High School girls basketball team will have a new 
coach this season as former assistant coach Mark McKinley has stepped 
up to fill the interim head coach position, due to an unexpected 
vacancy left by long-time Coach Tim Pyles.
    Pyles just recently resigned from coaching due to unexpected health 
issues. In addition, he will be retiring on January 1 from his full 
time administrative position in the transportation department.
    Pyles said he has enjoyed his coaching career working with student 
athletes. He said he is not bitter about his health circumstances, 
but sad he will have to give up his athletic duties. He has been 
employed by the Wayne County School district for 31 years in a 
variety of full time roles, besides his sports duties.
    "Coach Pyles has experienced tremendous success over the years and 
we certainly appreciate his time and efforts to the basketball 
programs, along with the support he has given our athletes," said 
Wayne County Athletic Director Kevin Jones.
    Pyles has led the girls basketball program to five regional 
championships and at least 11 district championships during his 
tenure as girls head coach since 2002. He served as an assistant 
girls coach from 1992-2002. Prior to that, he served as assistant 
boys coach from 1987-1991.
    "We won the girls district from 1998-2007 for nine years in a row," 
recalled Pyles. In addition, his team made it to the Elite 8 three 
times while playing in the Sweet 16 State Tournament.
    Coach Pyles said he wishes Coach McKinley the best in coaching the 
Lady Cards. The two coaches are former teammates at Wayne County 
Schools.
    "I have great respect for Mark both professionally and personally," 
said  Pyles.
    McKinley has served as assistant coach for the varsity team the past 
three years. This year he has already served as the coach of the 
sixth and seventh grade girl's middle school basketball teams, in 
addition to his full time teaching position with the Newcomer Academy 
program.
    McKinley is an experienced girl's basketball coach having served as 
head girl's varsity coach at Estill County for ten years, where his 
teams won three district championships, as well as being named a 
regional semi-finalist. Prior to that, McKinley gained valuable 
experience serving as an assistant coach to Southwestern Head Coach 
Cleve Wright, who went on to coach at the collegiate level.
    "We're excited for Coach McKinley to have the opportunity to coach 
at his alma mater. He has a lot of energy and experience and he wants 
to see Wayne County be successful," said Jones.
    McKinley is inheriting a program that has had many peaks under the 
leadership of Pyles over the 25 years he has been with the Lady 
Cardinals. McKinley is working with a young team so there will be 

plenty of challenges facing them this season.

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