By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Retired or not, Coach Tom Gutshall continues to be recognized for his contribution to sports within the parameters of Tucker County. However, this time he wasn’t on the bench calling plays or disagreeing with a referee’s call. This time, during half time of the AAA high school boy’s basketball championship game, he was recognized as the 2019 Retired Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Coaches Association.
Gutshall stated this award was particularly special to him with his daughter Laura helping make the presentation of his plaque. To be considered for this award, a member of the association nominated Gutshall and the nominees were then considered.
Beginning at Mountaineer High School during the 1973-74 school year, Gutshall began his coaching career as their football and baseball coach. He became the assistant boy’s basketball coach during the consolidation year at TCHS in 1978-79 before moving into the head coach position for half of the 1982-83 season. He continued to hold that position until he retired after the 2013-14 basketball season thirty-one and a half years later.
When asked if he missed coaching, Gutshall responded, “Well, I don’t miss the being nervous and upset part of it, but I miss the kids and the teaching part of it.” He commented his favorite part about coaching at TCHS was, “Being able to coach our own kids. No one moves in here to play, it’s all Tucker County athletes.”
In addition to this award, Gutshall has received numerous other honors during his coaching career. In 2011, he was the West Virginia Coach of the year by the National Coaches Association. Gutshall stated he was also named the Potomac Valley Conference Coach of the Year at least twenty times as well. He and his teams competed in the State Basketball Tournament held at the Charleston Civic Center twenty times making to ten final fours and served as two state runner ups.
“There are more important things than being a state champ,” Gutshall said. “All of my awards were because of great student athletes,” he continued. “I didn’t win one game; they did.” Gutshall concluded by saying one of the most important things to come from his career as a coach is that several of his formal players have stayed in contact with him over the years, “and that’s the best part of coaching.”