Banks Faulkner resigned on Tuesday as the Wando baseball coach after one season on the job. Faulkner is returning home to serve as pitching coach the Lexington Wildcats. He is a native of Lexington and was a pitcher on Lexington's 1999 state championship team that beat James Island for the title.
"I played at Lexington when it was at its peak, and they're really struggling now," Faulkner said. "They went out and hired one of the top coaches in the state, Brian Hucks, and I've always wanted to work with him."
Hucks was recently named head coach at Lexington after a successful stint at Brookland-Cayce that included a state championship in 2000, his first year at the school.
Wando was 9-10 at one stage of the 2011 season, but rallied to post an 18-13 record, winning a districth championship. Faulkner told the Wando players about his decision after school on Tuesday.
"They were shocked and upset," Faulkner said. "They are a good group of kids and I will do any thing to help them out in the future. I am proud the way they played in the second half of the season."
Faulkner was an assistant varsity baseball coach at Blythewood High School from 2008-10, serving as the pitching coach prior to taking the Wando job, his first stint as a head coach. Faulkner spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Gilbert High School prior to taking the Blythewood job. His pitchers at Gilbert went 48-12 in two years with a team ERA of 1.78. The '06 Gilbert team won the Class AA state title with a 29-1 record and the pitching staff had an 0.80 ERA. He also served as an assistant at Lexington and Walhalla.
Faulkner signed a baseball scholarship with Erskine College out of high school and played for two years before earning his degree at Clemson in 2004.
Now, he's heading back home.
"They are really committed to having a winning program and I want to be part of it," he said. "I get to be near my family. They have been a big part of my life and success and have followed me wherever I went. It's home and I had a home there that I never sold. It's two minutes from the school."
Reach Philip M. Bowman at at 937-5592. Follow him on Twitter: @pandcphil