East Lincoln Principal Todd Black knew exactly what qualities he was looking for to fill the Mustangsâ€™ baseball head coaching vacancy.
Chris Mitile, who played four years of college baseball at Concord College, embodied all of them.
â€œWe were obviously looking for somebody that had the coaching philosophy that feels the most important thing is the kid and teaching the kid how to play the sport,â€ Black said. â€œHe certainly had all the qualities and a good, strong rapport with the kids, not one that is degrading,â€ he added.
Mitileâ€™s first head coaching stint was spent at Freedom High School in Woodbridge, Virginia last year without a senior class.
Prior to Freedom, Mitile spent several years at Forest Park High School as an assistant baseball and football coach.
His football knowledge will be put to good use, as heâ€™s already talked to East Lincoln head coach Mike Byus about joining his staff.
Another aspect that was a big draw for Black, was Mitileâ€™s attention to detail.
â€œThroughout the interview; he was fantastic. What drills to run, how to organize a practice, teaching basic fundamentals, his relationship with the parentsâ€”all of that was exceptional,â€ he said.
The team Mitile, 32, will inherit narrowly missed the 3A State Playoffs. Essentially, they were one game away from earning a berth.
Had Greyson Schram not cracked a vertabrae in the final month of the season, the Mustangs would have likely secured a playoff berth.
Matt Neville, who resigned one month ago as head baseball coach, rebounded from a 6-18 season to post a 14-11 record last year. He also compiled a winning record, 8-6, in the Big South 3A.
â€œOur program is not hurting. In fact, heâ€™s (Mitile) probably going to inherit a decent baseball program next year,â€ Black said.
by John Mark Brooks