Banks Faulkner has bounced around during his coaching career but hopes that will change.
On Thursday, Faulkner was approved as Blythewood’s new baseball coach. He replaces Barry Mizzell, the school’s only coach since it opened in 2005.
This will be Faulkner’s sixth coaching job since 2006 and third as head coach.
“I feel every (coaching) move I made has been the right one,” said Faulkner, a former Lexington standout. “I was really happy at Summerville and what we were able to do there. Blythewood is an amazing place, a dream job and a big-time premier 5A program. I plan to be at Blythewood for a long time.”
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Faulkner is 70-24 as a head coach, including a 51-12 mark at Summerville the past two seasons. The Green Wave had an emotional run in winning the Class 4A championship this season. Summerville won five elimination games on its way to defeating J.L. Mann for the title.
The team also dealt with the loss of senior Tripp Rabon, who was killed in an automobile accident in December. Summerville dedicated the season to Rabon and sold almost 2,000 “All in for Tripp” T-shirts, raising $10,000 for the Tripp Rabon scholarship fund.
“This was the toughest year I had as a coach. There is no book how you guide kids through this,” Faulkner said. “My whole focus was to just honor Tripp through the whole process and that is the thing I hope people remember this season on how to make a positive out of a horrible tragedy.”
Faulkner said he forged a special bond with the Rabon family and spoke with them as he was considering taking the Blythewood job. He said they gave him their support and blessing, which helped in making his decision to return to the Midlands.
Faulkner was an assistant at Blythewood from 2006-08 and credits Mizzell as one of the coaches to help shape him during his career. He hopes to maintain the tradition Mizzell established for the Bengals.
Under Mizzell, Blythewood won five region championships, advanced to three upper state championships and made it to the 2013 state championship series.
“We’re thankful that we had the opportunity to bring him back,” Mizzell said. “This speaks volumes about our school and our community that we were able to hire one of the best coaches in the state.”
The Bengals went 15-10 last season and return four starters, including Division I prospect Jordyn Adams. Faulkner will meet with his team Monday and get into the offseason weight program the following day.
In addition to Faulkner’s hire, River Bluff’s Megan Assey was approved as the girls’ basketball coach at Spring Valley. She replaces hall of fame coach Anne Long, who led the Vikings to four state titles including two straight in 2015-16.
“Obviously, filling coach Long’s shoes is an honor, and I am really humbled,” Assey said.
Assey will have a meet-and-greet Monday with her new team and parents.