The Dominion Post\r\nMORGANTOWN -- Over his 52 years of coaching Wayne Kiger based his coaching philosophy on three key goals: Mentoring each individual as a person, student and athlete.\r\n\u201cI tried to maintain those three things over the years,\u201d he said.\r\nNow, the final buzzer has sounded and Kiger, Westwood Middle School\u2019s basketball coach is retiring.\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s just time,\u201d he said. \u201cThere\u2019s no negative factors.\u201d\r\nHis coaching career started at Riverside Junior High School, formerly in Granville, where he created a fourth-grade team to compete in a tournament \u2014 which it won. That success led to the creation of the school\u2019s first all-girl basketball team, which also won a championship, Kiger said.\r\nHe also spent 17 years at Waynesburg (Pa.) High School, before spending the last 22 years coaching at Westwood. Kiger\u2019s son, daughter, two nephews, a niece and a couple of godsons were just a few of the many students he coached.\r\n\u201cHe always put them [the kids] first in everything he did,\u201d Westwood Principal John Conrad said.\r\nConrad praised Kiger\u2019s coaching skills and said he possessed an incredible knowledge of the game and was great at developing players and getting them to produce.\r\nThings learned on the hardwood such as responsibility, work ethic and accountability translate to other parts of life, Kiger said.\r\n\u201cI told them they represent themselves, their school, their families and their team,\u201d he said.\r\nKiger said the most rewarding part of coaching was watching his players develop and become more mature individuals.\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s neat when they contact you later on,\u201d he said. \u201cAs they get older, into adults, they appreciate more what you tried to do.\u201d\r\nHe said many students over the years have contacted him later in life.\r\nTwo of Kiger\u2019s favorite memories over his career both involve local people, he said.\r\n\u201cThe first one was a loss,\u201d he said. \u201cIt was the seventh-grade championship and there was a young man named Jedd Gyorko that is a very famous athlete here in town.\u201d\r\nKiger explained that Gyorko, a sixth grader, made three of four foul shots to beat his team in overtime.\r\n\u201cThat was a real disappointing loss to me,\u201d he said. \u201cI wasn\u2019t too happy a sixth grader beat us.\u201d\r\nGyorko is now a Major League baseball player.\r\nHe said his highpoint, the only eighth-grade championship that Westwood won under him, was beating Nathan Adrian while he played for South Middle.\r\nAdrian went on to be a top basketball player for WVU.\r\nOverall, Kiger finished his Westwood tenure with five championships and 12 second-place finishes. He estimated he has between 700-800 career victories.\r\nIn retirement, Kiger said he plans to spend time with his grandkids and will work in his church.\r\nHe expects there to be a period of adjustment, just like when he retired from teaching 11 years ago.\r\nHe said he appreciates all the people involved through the years and expressed thanks to his players, family, friends, administrators and assistant coaches.\r\n\u201cAnd God for the health to do this for so long,\u201d he smiled.