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
"I have great respect for Mark both professionally and personally,"
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
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.