Mitchell looks to bring Wildcats' success to Blue Devils
By Andy Reed
Looking to bring Wilson Central's recent wrestling success to Lebanon, athletic director Darian Brown announced the hiring of Wildcat assistant coach Kyle Mitchell as Blue Devil head coach Wednesday.
Mitchell had assisted John Kramer at Central for five seasons, during which the Wildcats have become a major player on the state wrestling map, finishing second in the state duals last winter.
"He's going to be a great asset for us," said Brown, who knew Mitchell while serving as Central's principal. "He's going to bring a lot of success to the wrestling program. He's done a lot in developing some of the program's younger kids."
"I'm excited to be a part of it," Mitchell, 33, said Wednesday. "I'm just excited to be part of the Blue Devil Family.
"What was appealing to me was the vision the administration has for wrestling. Their vision goes along with my vision."
Part of that vision is developing a feeder program, which he helped lead at Central as coordinator of its club program.
Mitchell, who will teach special ed at LHS, graduated in 1998 from Mt. Juliet, where he was a teammate of two-time state champion Zac Dailey under coach Jerry Kirby. But while Mt. Juliet and Lebanon [with 1984 state champ Jeff Lester] have had pockets of individual success through the years, it wasn't until coach Brad Mattingly's Bears broke through within the last five years and Kramer's Wildcats in the last three years that Wilson County teams have made noise in state polls as a team.
"I feel it can happen at Lebanon," Mitchell said. "Lebanon has a great feeder program. That's the first thing Kramer did at Central was build a feeder program.
"It does go back to the feeder program. Mt. Juliet has one, Central has one. This'll be the third year for Lebanon to have one."
Mitchell replaces Josh Wilkins, who will remain on the LHS faculty as an English teacher, Brown said, but resigned his coaching position to spend more time with his family. Mitchell was a non-faculty assistant at Central, but, armed with a 2010 degree from Middle Tennessee State, will embark on his first teaching assignment at Lebanon.
"And I'm excited about that," Mitchell said of his faculty position.
With wrestling filled, Brown has head coaching vacancies remaining in baseball and softball. But he did announce tryouts for the 2014 softball team will be held from 4-7 p.m. July 22-23. Tryouts for the baseball team will be held those same days from 3-5 p.m.