- By Lauren Hanna
Mike Nunnally was named Boys Home Hilltopper head coach for the 2018-2019 basketball season. Coach Nunnally first came to Boys Home of Virginia in 1956 at 12 years old. He stayed at Boys Home until he graduated from Covington High School in 1963. During his time at Boys Home, the most influential people to him were Executive Director Bob Burrowes, houseparent Francis “Granny” Myers, and most of all his coach, mentor, and father figure, Paul Siple. Coach Nunnally lived in Greene Cottage with his best friend, Pete Dimick, and later named his son after Pete. As a child, Coach Nunnally was blessed with athletic ability, which Coach Siple nurtured. Coach Nunnally played basketball and baseball at Boys Home and then continued to play both of those sports at Bridgewater College.
When asked to give a synopsis of the season, Coach Nunnally answered, “We started slowly, as we had three players with limited experience on the court. The remainder of our players had played on a basketball team before. Our schedule did not help our slow start since our first twelve games were away. We started with thirteen players and actually added four players over the course of the season. We ended the season with eight players. The turnover of players hampered the development of the team. After Christmas vacation, we started to find our footing and won seven of our remaining fifteen games. Our overall record was 9-16 and we finished the season on a high note by taking second place in the NLCA Invitational Tournament. Our team was constantly praised by opposing coaches and fans for our disciplined play, effort, and the good sportsmanship our team displayed.”
After asking Coach Nunnally if it was what he expected he said, “I knew coming in that I was taking on a team with little experience, so I knew we would struggle early on. I did not expect to lose so many players for one reason or another during the season, so that was definitely a surprise. I knew that we would get better as the season progressed and the boys that stuck with it all the way to the end proved me right.”
Coach Nunnally said that some of his favorite things about coaching this season was helping to mold a team and watching them improve over the course of the season. He said the players learned to play for each other and not just for themselves. Coach Nunnally’s favorite memory was watching the team work hard to get better every single day and he truly saw the results as they defeated three teams that beat them the first time around. They also ended the season with nine 3-pointers in one game, a new Boys Home Hilltopper record!
Coach Mike Nunnally is already excited for the 2019-2020 basketball season and said as long as the boys work hard during the offseason, the Hilltoppers will surprise many teams next year!
Thank you, Coach Nunnally, for all your time, dedication, and patience that you poured into the Boys Home players this season. We are excited to see what the 2019-2020 season has in store!