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Basketball: Denmark's Tyler Whitlock heading to Creekview
Denmark head boys basketball coach Tyler Whitlock, seen here talking to the Danes during the 2022-23 season opener, will be taking the position at Creekview. (Photo by Jay Rooney Photography)

One month after Creekview parted ways with longtime boys basketball coach Casey Gramling, the school found its new coach in Denmark’s Tyler Whitlock.

Whitlock has 16 years of coaching experience, most recently with Denmark in Alpharetta, and has five state playoff appearances since 2019. He added region championships in 2019 and 2020, plus runner-up finishes the past three years, with a 96-50 record over the last five seasons since starting the Danes program.

“I’ve heard great things about the community,” said Whitlock, who has also served as the boys coach at Johnson (Hall) and the girls coach at White County. “Principal (Mike) Santoro and everyone had a lot of great things to say about the school and where they want to go as a basketball program.”

Whitlock led Denmark to the Class 7A playoffs this past season with a 16-12 overall record and a 7-3 mark in Region 6-7A. The Danes fell 54-50 to Osborne in the first round.

It was the second straight year Denmark lost in the opening round of the playoffs in overtime on its home floor, following a similar setback to Mountain View to end the 2021-22 season.

Creekview and Denmark met once in 2022-23, with the Grizzlies winning 55-49 in the Santa Jam Dec. 16 at Lambert.

The Danes prided themselves on defense and physicality during Whitlock’s time as coach, a mentality he plans to instill at Creekview.

“We want our identity to be on the defensive side of the ball,” said Whitlock, who has also served as an assistant boys coach at West Forsyth. “We are going to play hard every possession. It was a real competitive atmosphere we created (at Denmark). That’s what we hope to establish early on at Creekview.”

It’s a significant change for Creekview, with Gramling completing his 18th season as the only coach the program had known. He won 212 games during his time with the Grizzlies.

Creekview’s last winning season was in 2017-18, when it finished 23-5 overall, 14-1 in Region 6-6A and made the state playoffs. The Grizzlies went 5-21 in 2022-23 with a 2-10 region record.

“The biggest thing is that we want to be competitive,” Whitlock said. “We are going to play an exciting brand of basketball where we play really hard, get after other teams and learn how to compete. We want to establish a well-known program for this community.”

Whitlock has no shortage of playoff coaching experience from his time at Denmark. In 2019-20, the Danes were the Region 7-4A champion and reached the state semifinals.

Like he did at Denmark, Creekview’s newest coach hopes to make the Grizzlies a staple in the state playoff brackets.

“The goal is to get back there pretty quickly,” Whitlock said. “It will take a lot of hard work, but I feel like the kids are hungry and ready to get after it. (Gramling) did a great job at Creekview, and I want to build on what he did and help these kids grow.”