CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Former Winfield High School baseball standout Mike Hutchinson, who has served as an assistant at Poca High School under Gene Estel since 2011, was approved as the Dots' head coach during the regular-scheduled bi-monthly meeting of the Putman County Board of Education on Oct. 7.
He replaces Estel, who went from a 6-25 record his first year in 2009 to a 23-9 mark last season before stepping down to spend more time with his family.
"I just decided to put family first," said Estel, who had a 76-82 record in five seasons. "Samuel is a freshman at Winfield and I knew I wouldn't be 100 percent into what I was doing at Poca.
"There would always be some part of me wondering what (Samuel) was doing. That wouldn't be fair to Poca."
Enter Hutchinson, who handled the pitching staff at Poca since joining Estel's staff two seasons ago. He inherits a squad that returns many of the players who were part of last year's team that was just four wins shy of tying a 42-year-old record for single-season victories.
This isn't lost on the 27-year-old former Winfield outfielder, who was a member on the Generals' Class AA state championship teams in 2001 and 2002.
"The only think I can do is work hard and do the things I think are best for the program," he said.
"I feel like if I do that, then we'll be successful. You never know until you get them out on the field. You want to set goals and I think one goal that we have to have is to win 20 games.
"That should be goal No. 1. We also want to win the (Cardinal Conference)."
The 2004 Winfield graduate began his college career at the University of Charleston before transferring to Bethany College prior to his sophomore year.
Hutchinson finished his college education at West Virginia State, earning a degree in business administration in 2010 before getting a second degree, in education, last year.