Skyline has turned to a pair of familiar faces to fill its vacant boys basketball and baseball head coaching positions.
Athletic Director Bill Cupp recently announced that Harold Chunn, a longtime assistant basketball coach at the school, has been named Skyline’s new varsity boys basketball coach and that Tyler Settle, a varsity baseball assistant coach for the past two seasons, will take over as the head of the Hawks’ baseball program.
Both men replace Jeff Monroe, who coached Skyline’s boys basketball program for four seasons and the school’s varsity baseball team for two years before taking a job at Jefferson Forest for the upcoming school year.
Chunn has coached boys and girls basketball at the middle school level for 15 years and has held various positions within Skyline’s girls basketball program since 2010, including a brief stint as the school’s junior varsity head coach. Last season Chunn was a varsity assistant under head girls basketball coach Jim Kenney.
“He’s got a lot of experience that he brings,” Cupp said of Chunn, who also is the public address announcer for Skyline softball. “He brings a great personality and a great sense of he understands what needs to get done. He brings a lot of enthusiasm on the court. The kids have always kind of looked up to him, so that will be probably one of his biggest strengths.”
Chunn inherits a boys basketball program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2012-13. The Hawks went 10-12 last season after enduring a stretch that saw them lose 10 of 11 games after starting the season 7-2. Skyline had won just six games over the previous two years.
Chunn said on Tuesday that the basketball program’s non-football players would soon be getting in the gym for offseason workouts, and he’s looking forward to coaching the returning players from last year’s squad (Skyline had seven seniors on the 2018-19 roster).
He added that he’s looking into adding Andrew Thorne, a former Skyline standout who went on to become a 1,000-point scorer at Eastern Mennonite University, as a volunteer assistant coach.
“I plan on doing some different stuff as far as basically trying to run an up-tempo type game,” Chunn said of what he wants to bring to the Hawks’ boys basketball program. “I want to be that team that’s like unscoutable, kind of up-in-your-face defense type of style, basically running the floor. I’ll have anybody and everybody handling the ball by the time the season starts.”
Settle, a 2009 Skyline grad, has his own challenges ahead of him as he takes over a baseball program coming off back-to-back losing seasons. Settle was on the baseball coaching staff both seasons as the Hawks went 3-13 in 2018 and 4-16 last spring.
A Front Royal native who was eager to coach in his hometown, Settle, 28, said he assumed a bigger coaching role in Skyline’s baseball program between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and he helped out the Front Royal Cardinals’ coaching staff in the Valley Baseball League this past summer in anticipation of possibly landing the Skyline head coaching job.
Settle said he played a large role in establishing Skyline’s offseason baseball program ahead of the 2019 season. His hope, he said, is that increased participation in the fall wooden bat league will help steer the Hawks, who had nine seniors on the team last season, in a winning direction.
“That was kind of the first year of that, so this year the athletes know what to expect. They’re all familiar with me and what I expect, so I think our attendance rate in the offseason program is gonna grow,” Settle, a physical education teacher in the Warren County Public Schools system, said on Tuesday. “As long as we keep getting our athletes in the offseason program, I think it’s gonna produce out on the field. We’re kind of going through like a culture change. We’ve had a few losing seasons and back when I was playing here, it wasn’t always like that. Just trying to get that positive winning culture again, make them believe in themselves and that they can get it done if they buy in and put in some work in the offseason.”
Settle said one of his primary goals ahead of the 2020 season is to develop a deeper, more consistent pitching staff.
“He’s gonna have to put his stamp on the program from the head coach’s perspective as opposed to being the varsity assistant,” Cupp said. “That’ll be a challenge for him but he’s already gotten things planned for the fall and he’s already off and running. He’ll do a good job, it’s just a matter of getting himself established and changing that role from being the assistant to the head man.”
Cupp also announced earlier this week that Margie Sims would take over as Skyline’s new boys tennis coach.