by KATHY LOY | Photos by: Zeena Gregg Photography

In some parts of the country it might be a struggle to “keep the talent home.” Some athletes and coaches are just hoping for the opportunity to show their skills in order to leave the area and start their career in a “better” city or state. Here in San Diego, coaches like Westview High School’s Kyle Smith know that putting their talents to work right where they grew up is a smart choice.

Kyle has been in this area for a long time. “My parents moved to Peñasquitos when I was in pre-school. I have been going to school or working in this community since then,” he explained. “It’s a beautiful area with great people. I feel very blessed to be here.”

Two years after graduating from Mount Carmel High School, Kyle was hired onto the Westview High School coaching staff under Dave Delaney, who started the Westview basketball program and coached until 2009. During that year, Kyle was hired as the Varsity head coach of the program and is currently in his fourth year in that position.

FacesKyle and the other Westview basketball staff coach three teams in the winter season, run a summer program, and he also works with the Wolverine Basketball Club which has teams for grades five through eight. With his experience at two high schools, Kyle says there are a lot of similarities. “We have students that are dedicated to their education. At the same time we have athletic programs that compete at a high level. There is great support from parents, administrators, teachers and coaches throughout the community,” described Kyle. “The biggest change is that we now have two great high schools instead of one.”

Coaches define “success” differently, and the Westview program focuses on teamwork. “For us, that means putting others’ needs and interests before their own. If we can accomplish this, we know our players will have had a positive experience,” said Kyle. His goal for the team each year is to “try to create a positive team atmosphere where our players try as hard as they can for each other.”

When this coach isn’t on the court, he is probably somewhere close – or at the beach. “My parents, sister, nephews, grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins all live in or near PQ,” Kyle expressed. It’s probably a good bet that after Kyle and his fiancé, Emilee, get married, they’ll put their roots in 92129 as well.

[box title =”At A Glance” color=”#333333″]

Name: Kyle Smith

Age: 29

Community: San Diego

Profession: Westview High School Basketball Coach

Family: (Fiancé) Emilee, (Parents) Doug and Vicki, (Sister) Alison