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The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Lady Eagles Under New Management

Whitling+on+the+sideline+during+a+JV+game+last+season+%28file+photo%29.
Ashlynn McKinney
Whitling on the sideline during a JV game last season (file photo).

The Tyrone girls basketball team will open their 2023-24 season tomorrow at home against Punxsutawney, and for the first time in 17 years, the Lady Eagles will do so under new leadership.

New Tyrone Head Coach Micheal Whitling will bring a wealth of experience, much of it at the NCAA Division II level, to the girl’s team this year.

Whitling was an assistant under former head coach Luke Rhoades for the past two years and expressed instant interest in the opportunity to take over the program when Rhoades was hired for the boys head coach position at Tyrone.

I was interested in the program because I love the game of basketball and I want to be able to give back to the game that has given me so much. The players and the people around this program have welcomed me and I enjoy the relationships that have developed over the past two years

— Head Coach Mike Whitling

“I was interested in the program because I love the game of basketball and I want to be able to give back to the game that has given me so much. The players and the people around this program have welcomed me and I enjoy the relationships that have developed over the past two years,” Whitling said.

Whitling grew up in Knox, Pennsylvania, and was a multi-sport athlete at Keystone High School.

As a basketball player, he was a member of a Keystone team that went to the western semi-finals in his junior year.

This will be Whitling’s 18th season coaching basketball, with much of that time being spent at the collegiate level.

He began his coaching experience at the NCAA Division II level at his alma mater, Clarion University, where he was an assistant for the women’s team for three years.

He then continued his career at Anderson University in South Carolina and Gannon University, where he spent three years at each school.

His first head coach position was at Mansfield University. During his five years at Mansfield, Whitling took the women’s team to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

He also coached for two years at DuBois High School for the boy’s program.

Whittling’s resume even includes coaching against an NCAA Division I legend and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“One of the highlights of my coaching career was to have the opportunity to coach against UConn and Geno Auriemma in a preseason game. A team that was coming off of a championship season and featured Brianna Stewart,” Whitling said.

Auriemma has more national titles (11) than any other coach in NCAA history and holds the highest winning percentage among all NCAA basketball coaches, at any level, men’s or women’s.

I’m very glad Coach Whitling got the position, and I’m looking forward to this season with him as our coach

— Sophomore Alayna Woomer

Not only is Whitling excited for the opportunity to coach at Tyrone, but his players are as well.

Because Whitling was already on staff last year, the girls know him well and the transition has been a smooth one, according to the players.

“I’m very glad Coach Whitling got the position, and I’m looking forward to this season with him as our coach,” Tyrone sophomore Alayna Woomer said.

Whitling was also hired as a seventh-grade science teacher at Tyrone, so the program should enjoy continued stability for the foreseeable future.

Outside of teaching and basketball, Whittling enjoys watching hockey, skiing, traveling, and watching movies.

One fun fact is Whitling also played college baseball at Clarion University for three seasons and was named to the second-team all-conference team, batting .357 during his senior season.

His senior year batting average still ranks in the top 10 for a single season at Clarion.

With all of his years of experience in coaching, the Lady Eagles players and fans are excited to see his helping hand incorporated in the upcoming season.

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About the Contributor
Ashlynn McKinney, Photo Editor
Hello, this is Ashlynn! She is a senior and this is her third and final year in Eagle Eye. She is very involved in her school community; she is an officer in YAN, a member of the Student Council, Golden Revolution, Prom Committee, NHS, Mock Trial, Quiz League, and Speech Team, and she is also on the tennis and swim teams. Often Ashlynn can be found with her camera, usually taking pictures at some sporting event. Ashlynn hopes to continue improving her photography skills and cover news stories that are important to the community. After high school, she plans to attend a four-year university with a major in biology in hopes of one day becoming a doctor.

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