MHS’s Tom Yester closes in on 600 wins

Hoops coach has 40 seasons under belt

The Dominion Post

There was no one particular thing, Tom Yester said, that sparked his interest in coaching.
“I was in the eighth grade and I was playing all three sports — baseball, basketball and football — at Terra Alta,” Yester said. “I just knew that year that I wanted to be a coach later on in my life. I felt that’s what I wanted to be.”
He’s been one of the area’s best boys’ basketball coaches since he took a coaching job at old Rowlesburg High (Preston County) in 1969, and now stands just one victory shy of a career milestone.
Now the coach of Morgantown High, Yester needs just one more victory to reach 600 for his career. The Mohigans (4-1) travel to Wheeling Park (2-2), at 7:30 p.m. today to try and reach the milestone.
“To tell you truth, I haven’t really thought much about it,” Yester said. “I’ve never really thought much about individual accolades. I have been very fortunate to have had worked with some very good coaches over the years. I’ve been able to reap the benefits of their hard work.
“I’ve been fortunate to have had some great players to work with. There have been lots of people along the way who I’ve been able to rub elbows with who have helped me, and of course, you can’t do anything like this without great support from your wife and family.”
After one season at Rowlesburg, Yester became the head boys’ basketball coach at University High. He was with the Hawks for nine seasons before moving to MHS.
His record stands at 599-338 over his 40 seasons as a head coach.
The Mohigans have advanced to the regional finals in nine of the last 12 seasons. His best oneseason records came in 1987 and 2004, when the Mohigans finished 23-2.
“You see kids now that you haven’t seen in a while, and you realize there is still a connection,” Yester said. “I’ve had a myriad of good things happen to me, but you don’t get into this business for the glory. You get into it for the kids. You hope you can help them at a certain part of their life to reach a better place in life down the road. If you can play a small part in that, that’s one of the greatest feelings a coach can have.”

Tom Yester