Thayer tasked with turning around West Mifflin girls basketball
TribLIVE Sports Videos
You'd have to forgive Dan Thayer for the look of confusion he has had during the past couple of weeks.
Thayer is used to taking over a girls basketball program in severe need of repair — with about a week or so in order to put everything in place for the upcoming season. That's how it was at Baldwin and Brentwood.
This time, it couldn't be more different.
Thayer was hired as West Mifflin's girls basketball coach earlier this month. He has a roster full of talented players and seven months to put the pieces in place.
“Yeah, you can say that it has been a lot different,” said Thayer, a 1988 West Mifflin graduate. “The first couple years at Baldwin, we were real bad. It was low numbers, and it was low talent. We were really struggling. Brentwood was sort of the same thing. Those were last minute, and obviously this is different on how it worked out.”
Thayer takes over for Rob Yeschenko, who resigned after leading the Titans to a 20-23 record and two playoff victories. West Mifflin went 10-13 last year and beat Kittanning in a preliminary-round Class AAA game.
“There are some kids returning and in years past, they've had good numbers,” Thayer said. “If we can continue that and build up a consistent amount of kids coming through and playing, it could make it a good situation.”
Thayer, 43, has been successful at his other WPIAL stops. He went 77-60 in six years at Baldwin, including an 8-5 postseason mark and a Class AAAA championship game appearance in 2010. After Baldwin opened his job a year after finishing as Class AAAA runner-up, Thayer took over Brentwood and turned a 1-20 team into a nine-win squad within a year.
Thayer has a 87-93 record in eight WPIAL seasons. He coached three years in North Carolina before moving back to the area.
“I thought it was a pretty good opportunity, so that's what I am here,” Thayer said.
Thayer is scouting his team while it plays in the McKeesport Summer League.
“At this point, we are pretty disorganized just because it has been so quick,” Thayer said. “You have to gauge the team that you have and what are their strengths and weaknesses. You just try to put something together what you think is the best for this group. What we are able to do offensively and defensively is still wide open because we haven't figured out what they can do.”
With four of the five starters returning, including 2012 Daily News Player of the Year point guard Ciara Patterson and three-year starters Taylor Thomas and Paige Flore, the Titans' talent might equal anyone's in Class AAA.
“Right now, it is more observation than anything else.” Thayer said. “It is kind of frustrating to us as coaches because we haven't been able to get a lot done. It has been so many games (in the McKeesport Summer League) and so little chance of doing anything with them, but at least it is giving us a chance to see what is good and bad.”
Thayer said he would love to have the Titans push the ball up the floor and play pressure defense, but he will make that decision as the evaluation process continues.
“We are going to set expectations a certain way and have a set of rules, and that's what everybody is going to follow,” Thayer said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Starter Liriano strikes out 12, leads Pirates to series sweep of Mets
- Rossi: After L.A., NFL should tread carefully
- Cochran repair center planned in Harrison
- Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Oncologists wary of scaled-back guidelines in cancer screenings
- Vietnam vets from Fayette recall service — and those who didn’t make it home
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Exhibit reproduces painter Frida Kahlo’s inspiration
- Early success in White House race a pleasant surprise for Carson
- Springdale councilman resigned to defeat