Kinder next in line to tutor Eagles | Sports


Recruiting in high school sports is legal under certain circumstances.

Such as when it’s the players seeking out the coach.

When it became apparent that, despite making a hire earlier in the summer, Fairview might not have settled its girls basketball coaching position once and for all, some of the Eagles approached Ryan Kinder about the job during an open gym.

“You know how kids are – they always know everything that’s going on before anybody else knows,” Kinder said.

As it turned out, they were right. Jermaine Ballard, hired in July to take the reins in Westwood from an assistant coaching position in Georgia, informed Fairview Independent School District superintendent Jackie Risden-Smith on Aug. 10 he would not be making the move after all because of “his inability to relocate at this time due to an unforeseen medical concern with a family member,” she said.

That family member is his son, Ballard confirmed. He has a 7-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old boy.

Kinder is beginning his first year as Fairview’s middle school girls coach and a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher, but he’d already gotten to know most of the varsity Eagles as a substitute teacher.

So they asked him to add the varsity job to his plate.

The encounter left an impression – even though Kinder already has one coaching gig lined up.

“They pull on your heartstrings a little bit whenever you got a situation like this,” Kinder said. “I really felt bad for them because they’ve been through numerous coaches and things in the last several years.

“It’s hard to build a program, and that’s something I think they can really do there at Fairview.”

Kinder will be the next person to take a crack at getting the Eagles going again. The district announced his hire in a social media post on Friday.

“Our priority is having a coach in place for our girls so that they will be ready for the season ahead, and we needed to move forward,” Risden-Smith said. “Mr. Kinder has had interest in the high school coaching position, but was selected as our middle school coach because we must focus on building our program and he has the commitment we’re looking for and has a vision for our girls basketball program in the short-term and the long-term.

“He is ready to take on the challenge of coaching both the middle and high school teams. and I have no doubt that he can do so with great success for our student-athletes.”

Fairview could return up to 88% of its scoring from last season, and the quality of the athletes the Eagles expect to field made Kinder optimistic.

He intends to lend “ground rules” and stability to the program to help Fairview realize that potential.

“I want to use this season to try to develop and hone some of the skills,” he said. “I felt like this was an opportunity I needed to take, just wanting to use my talent to develop this younger talent.”

Fairview hopes Kinder’s appointment finally concludes what turned into an extended search. It began in May, when Mo Mullins resigned, citing “health issues.” The Eagles doubled their win total last winter under Mullins, going from 5-19 in 2021 to 10-19 last year.

“Hopefully we have a decent season and I can help to build this team where I’d like to see it and I know the community would love to see it,” Kinder said.

Kinder, 42, is the son of Yogi Kinder, a two-time football state championship coach in West Virginia. Kinder coached under his father and also has worked as a gridiron assistant at Boyd County, he said.

Kinder is an alumnus of Matewan (West Virginia), which has since consolidated into Mingo Central, and the University of the Cumberlands. He is doing master’s degree coursework at Morehead State.

Kinder, who is single, has two sons – Cole, 18, and Reid, 4.


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