Kyle Howell, who coached Sabino to the 3A softball state title last month and served as the school’s athletic director over the last two school years, is leaving the Sabercats to become the golf coach and a health teacher at Mica Mountain.
Mica Mountain vice principal of interscholastics Jay Campos, also a former Sabino coach and administrator, announced the acquisition of Howell via Twitter on Tuesday night:
Mica Mountain High School is so excited to announce that former Sabino AD, Golf Coach and Softball Coach Kyle Howell will be becoming a Thunderbolt !!!
He will be joining us as a Health Teacher and Golf Coach!
Welcome Kyle!! @jaycampos7 #theboltsinvail #wearemountainstrong pic.twitter.com/UB8nWqaATJ
— Mica Mountain High School (@mmhs_gobolts) June 16, 2021
Howell stated via text message Tuesday night that he will also serve as an assistant to Campos and athletic director Whitney Holland at Mica Mountain, a Vail Unified School District school that will be in its second year of existence in 2021-22.
“My goal and that of our administration was to have me fill an assistant principal role at Sabino,” mentioned Howell, who is completing master’s degree courses in Educational Administration at Grand Canyon University. “While working through the process, it became evident that without more teaching experience, that would not be possible.
“Our admin team and coaches at Sabino were so supportive through this process. This opportunity at Mica combines the teaching position, coaching and serving in an assistant capacity to Whitney Holland and Jay Campos. I’m excited to join the Vail community and Mica Mountain team.”
In an interview with AllSportsTucson.com last month after Sabino won the softball and baseball state titles, Howell said he originally did not intend to coach the softball program.
Howell was required by TUSD to coach a team after he was hired as athletic director at Sabino in January 2020 following a stint as athletic director at St. Augustine High School for more than a year.
Howell coached Sabino’s junior varsity softball team last spring and also served as a hitting instructor for the varsity in the brief amount of time the program was together before COVID-19 hit.
“The head coaching job at Sabino is something I never would have considered,” Howell said. “But when the kids asked after I got to do some hitting work with them if I would think of becoming the head coach, I decided to do it and got the blessing of the district AD (Herman House at the time).”
Howell, 33, has an extensive coaching background at various levels over the last 11 years, from major-league baseball to junior college baseball to coaching at Sabino. He also coached the Sabercats’ girls golf team last season.
He is an area scout for the Detroit Tigers as well.
Mica Mountain has Vinny Muskiet as its baseball coach and Steve Garcia as the softball coach.
Sabino could possibly hire from within and promote Howell’s assistant Cyndi Cubillas, who is a coach in the AZ Cats youth softball organization in Tucson. A former Salpointe standout, she also has an extensive coaching background at Arizona Western and Adams State.
The Sabercats have a majority of their roster returning including ace pitcher Riley Nielson, a pupil of Arizona pitching great Alicia Howell-Dunn, the top youth pitching trainer in Tucson.
More details of Sabino’s coaching search to come at AllSportsTucson.com.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District