Coach of Mehlville boys’ basketball team honored by alma mater, Northwest High

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Mehlville Senior High School boys’ basketball coach Andy Guethle recently was enshrined into immortality when his alma mater, Northwest High School, retired his No. 4 basketball jersey in recognition of his accomplishments as a Lion.

Guethle, who led the Lions to the class 4A state quarterfinal in 1996, is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,662 points. He also holds school records for most assists in a career — 524 — and three-pointers in a career with 199.

The former Northwest guard holds rec-ords for the most points in a season with 628, assists in a season with 172 and a since-tied record of 65 three-point shots in one season. Guethle also was a Second-Team All-State member in 1996, the first Lion to receive the honor since 1974.

During his junior year, he set a record by nabbing 93 steals.

Despite all his accomplishments, Guethle is humble when discussing his records and the retiring of his number.

“It’s pretty neat,” Guethle told the Call. “It was really good to be a part of something like that (the state quarterfinal) be-cause the team had really worked hard in the off-season.”

During a Jan. 6 ceremony, Northwest presented Guethle with a plaque and displayed the No. 4 jersey that will never be worn by another Lion.

In a Northwest news release, former Lions head coach Bill Brown stated, “Andy was a tireless practice player as well as consummate team player on game night. No coach could ask for a better student-athlete than Andy.”

After graduation, Guethle went on to start all four years on Truman State Uni-versity’s basketball, helping lead the Bull-dogs to the NCAA II Final Four in 1999.

He also holds the Truman State record for consecutive games started with 114 and is fourth on the Bulldog’s all-time list for three-point shots with 186.

Guethle started playing basketball in fourth grade where his father, Tom, coached him through middle school. He also served as the water boy for the Northwest boys’ basketball team before starting at guard as a freshman and playing through his senior year. In 1996, he was named Northwest’s Scholar Athlete.

The youngest of Tom and Trish Guethle’s two sons, Guethle has been able to use his experiences as a player to relate to his current team at Mehlville Senior High. But he’ll be the first to admit that it can be a humbling experience.

“It’s tough sometimes because you’ve got to try to get the idea across that there’s no easy fix to a problem,” Guethle said. “It’s much more meaningful to win when you come from a program that’s struggled and then you build something that’s successful.”