Jeremy Faulkner, who led the Souhegan girls basketball team to back-to-back Division II state championships in 2011 and 2012, has left Souhegan to take over as head coach of the Bishop Guertin girls basketball team. In addition to coaching BG, Faulkner will also now be the head coach for the Rivals Basketball Club. Both positions became available when Scott Hazelton stepped down to accept an assistant coach job with UMass Lowell women's basketball.
"Leaving Souhegan was a very tough decision for me" said Faulkner, who recently wrapped up the AAU season with his 16U NE Shooting Stars team (his 15th year with the program). "But I am very excited. Scott approached me after the girls AAU state tournament about taking over both programs. I was honored by his offer. BG is in Division I, and one of the premier programs in the state. The Rivals are one of the top AAU programs in the northeast.
Taking over for Faulkner as the new girls coach at Souhegan is Mike Heaney, who has spent the past 5 years as the school's boys basketball coach.
"Yes I did indeed move over to take the girls job when Jeremy Faulkner took the job at BG" Coach Heaney told the NH Notebook. "I love coaching at Souhegan and saw this as an opportunity to take on a new challenge without having to leave the building. The past five years was a blast coaching kids like Brandon Len and Seth Cordts, but I knew this was an opportunity that might never come again. Plus every piece of athletic gear I own these days is black and gold."
Both Heaney and Faulkner have enjoyed quite a bit of success at Souhegan. Heaney led the Sabers to the Final Four in 2 of the past 3 years, including a title game appearance in 2013. Faulkner won a state championship in each of his first 2 years at the school, which is a an amazing accomplishment (the first season the Sabers went undefeated).
"I didn't win 2 state championships - we did" said a humble Faulkner. "You need to have the players to do it."
One of those players was Jane White, who scored 1,000 points, hit the game-winning 3-pointer to beat Lebanon in the 2011 title game, won D-II Player of the Year and no plays college ball at Bentley. With his move from Souhegan to BG, Faulkner once again will have the privelage of coaching another star point guard - senior Jamie Sherburne. Sherburne is the reigning NH Gatorade Player of the Year, and has committed to Niagara College.
"They are two totally different point guards, but both really hard workers" said Faulkner. "I'm blessed to be able to coach 2 of the best point guards the state has had in the last few years."
Faulkner made some great memories during his time at Souhegan.
"There are two moments that stick out" said Faulkner, who is a native of Hudson and played high school ball at Alvirne. "The first year it was Jane's half court buzzer-beater and her game-winning three. The second year the turning point of our season was the regular season game up at Lebanon. It's very hard to play there, and even though we lost that game the girls and myself all felt really good about the way we played. They played hard and from that game on we really came together."
Faulkner is now eager to get started with his new team at BG.
"We have been having open gyms every Tuesday" Faulkner concluded. "Plus they played in the summer league in Andover, MA and I coached them over the past few weeks of that league. I am excited about our incoming freshman class. We have a good group of girls, they're ready to go. I hope to bring BG another championship."
Best of luck to Hazelton, Faulkner and Heaney in their new roles.