Coaches Corner: Banks Faulkner – Wando HS


faulknerbanks-head10.jpgFaulknerB-standing.jpgCoaches Corner – Banks Faulkner, Wando HS: Banks Faulkner begins his first season as the head baseball coach at Wando High School in 2011. This will be his first season as a varsity head coach. Recently, he was the varsity pitching coach at Blythewood (2008-2010) and Gilbert (2006-2007). During those five seasons he has coached in three upper state championship games and the 2006 Gilbert team won the 2A state championship. Faulkner prepped at Lexington, where he was a member of the 1999 4A state championship team. Faulkner has coached travel baseball for the South Carolina Diamond Devils and he serves as an associate scout for the Chicago White Sox.

Diamond Prospects-How many years have you been in coaching?

Banks Faulkner-This is my eighth year coaching and my first as a varsity head coach.

DP-What is the most rewarding thing about being a baseball coach?

BF-The relationships with my current and former players are the most rewarding part of my job. I get really excited when I hear about players I have coached doing well at the next level and seeing them be successful both in baseball and in life. Coaching allows many opportunities to teach things to young people that can’t be learned in a classroom.

DPWhat does the term "coach" mean to you?

BF-A role model, a teacher, and a mentor for young people

DPWhat is something you wish everyone knew about your profession?

BF-The amount of hours involved is incredible if you want to do it the right way.

DPWhat is your definition of a "student-athlete?"

BF-An individual that is able to balance the rigors of the classroom and the playing field and excel in both.

DP-We always hear how players have superstitions, I know coaches do too. Do you have anything interesting?

BF-Not really. I’m not all that superstitious to be honest with you. I have been around players and coaches who were, however, and I think it’s pretty funny to see the extremes they will go to.

DP-What is your most memorable experience as a baseball coach?

GilbertWins.JPGBF-Winning a state championship at Gilbert in 2006 and winning our last 29 games was incredible. The only loss we had was the first game of the season to Sumter who won it in 4A. Our postseason run to the Upper State Championship game at Blythewood last year was also really special because we had a season full of adversity, battled through it, and got really hot at the end with a very young team.

DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a baseball coach and why?

BurnettA-staff.JPGBF-I’ve learned from every coach I have played and worked for. Three that stand out are my high school coach, Tommy Williams, who instilled a lot of things in me that I still carry today. The belief in being tough but fair to players, running organized practices, and that losing wasn’t an option. Ashley Burnett at Gilbert gave me an opportunity to coach at the varsity level at a very young age and gave me a great deal of responsibility. I will always be indebted to him for that. Barry Mizzell at Blythewood made an unbelievable impact on me as both a coach and a person. He showed me a different way of doing things that I hadn’t seen before. He is a coach who demands a great deal from his players but they love him and he is a great motivator. He is always trying to learn new things. His teams always play very hard and get better as the year goes along. I have a great deal of respect for him.

DP-Who are the best three players you have ever coached against?

BF-From SC-Matt Price (Sumter), Jordan Lyles (Hartsville), Bruce Caldwell (Sumter)

DP-Who do you think are the top three players in your area right now?

BF-Connor Bright (Wando), Tanner English (St James), Brandon Hester (Stratford)

DP-What does it mean to be a good teammate and is that important?

BF-I think it means to care more about your team than you do yourself. I feel that it is extremely important because teams with individuals who aren’t team-first don’t win when it counts.

DP-What do you see as the biggest difference in high-school aged players today versus ten years ago?

BF-Players today are much stronger and put more of an emphasis on playing year-round.

DP-We often hear about the "politics" that surround high school baseball. What is your philosophy on this subject and on dealing with the parents of your players.

meandbarry1.jpgBF-I don’t deal with politics. I do believe in communicating with parents but I play the players that my staff and I feel give us our best chance to win, period. I always do what I think is best for our baseball program and that is my decision 100%.

DP-What high school rule(s) would you change?

BF-I would not put a limit on off-season practices. If a coach is willing to work with his players on his own time, let him.

DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a person and why?

BF-My parents. They raised me the right way and taught me how to treat others. They are my biggest fans and don’t miss many of my games.

DP-What MLB feat in history do you wish you’d been inside the stadium to witness and why?

BF-Sid Bream scoring the game-winning run in 1992 NLCS. I was a big Braves fan growing up.

DP-Who is your favorite athlete (non-baseball)

BF-CJ Spiller

DP-Who is your favorite MLB pitcher and position player to watch and why?

BF-Pitcher-Tim Lincecum, because he’s a freak of nature. Position player-Josh Hamilton 5 tool player but his personal story is inspirational to me.

DP-Who is your favorite MLB team?

BF-Chicago Cubs

DP-What is your favorite sport to play other than baseball?


DP-What is your favorite sport to watch other than baseball?

BF-College Football

DP-What are some of your hobbies?

BF-I like to work out and spend time with my friends and family.

DP-What is something people don’t know about you?

BF-I love to read.

DP-If you could have dinner with three people in history, who would they be and why?

BF-Nick Saban, because he is a fantastic coach. I would love to learn from him. Harry Caray because I grew up watching him in the afternoons. I’m sure he would tell some good stories. Curtis Bell, he was an amazing person who was taken from the world too soon. I never met anybody who didn’t like him.

DP-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

BF-Teaching and coaching high school baseball. I love my job.

DP-Now switching gears, think back to your days as a baseball player, please list any notable accolades:

BF-Signed baseball scholarship with Erskine College

DP-What is your greatest high school thrill?

BF-Winning the 1999 4A State Championship

DP-What is your greatest thrill, or two, beyond high school?

BF-Graduating from Clemson University with a degree in education and getting an opportunity to do what I love at a varsity level at a young age.

DP-Who were the three best players you played against?

BF-Trey Dyson, Andy Phillips, Russell Triplett

DP-What are your thoughts on what Diamond Prospects can do, and has done, for kids in South Carolina?

BF-I think Diamond Prospects has made baseball better in our state, no question. It has increased exposure for players and been a way to connect our state. I know a lot more about players from different parts of the state than I would without it. I look at DP about single every day.

DP-Give a high school player who is reading this article one piece of advice.

BF-Respect the game and listen to those who have played the game. You can learn from everyone.