Greenon’s Gary Falkenbach and Shawnee’s Blake Garberich won’t be coaching girls basketball next season, but they both said they expect to coach again.
Falkenbach said, “It’s just time,” to step away from the job he has held since 2007. “The good Lord’s got something for me. I’m just not sure what.”
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Falkenbach led the Knights to three Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division titles and was grooming a young team to challenge in the Ohio Heritage Conference, the Knights’ new home. The Knights, 10-13 this season, featured eight sophomores, led by all-Clark County selections Regan Ware and Lydia Henry. Falkenbach said there are also good players in the middle school program.
“I’m real happy where the program’s at versus when I took over,” Falkenbach said. “It’s been a fun ride. It’s just time.”
Garberich coached the Braves for five years and made them relevant in the CBC Kenton Trail Division. The Braves finished 17-7 and went into the final two weeks of the season with a chance to win the division before falling twice to division champion Tecumseh. The victory total was the second most in school history.
Garberich’s decision was driven by devoting more time to his family. His daughters are 10, 7, 5 and 1. He said his two middle daughters missed out on opportunities to be involved in activities because he was coaching.
“This year we had a lot of success, and I put a lot of time and effort into it,” Garberich said. “And all that time and effort came at a cost. My family lost out on time with me, and I really put them second behind coaching. As a father that’s not what should be happening. I should be sacrificing for them.”
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Garberich, 33, has been coaching since he was 18. He began as an assistant high school track coach under his uncle, Mike Garberich. He coached track for 11 years, giving it up once he realized coaching basketball and track required too much of his time.
Before becoming a high school basketball coach, Garberich coached eighth-grade boys basketball for nine years and middle school football for eight years.
“I’m not stopping coaching because I don’t love it anymore, not because I had a bad experience,” he said. “I love coaching.”
Garberich expects to coach again after his kids have grown up. Falkenbach, however, did not rule a return to coaching in the near future. He said he’s had a couple of offers, including at the college level, since he resigned from Greenon.
For now, Falkenbach will focus on his business – he owns three Subway stores – and his ministry work. He chairs the board of directors for “The Gathering,” a Springfield-based Christian men’s organization.
Southeastern is also searching for girls and boys coaches. Bob Wehner, who had a long tenure at Jonathan Alder, coached the Trojans girls for one season to a 7-17 record.
Brian Hecker coached the Trojans boys to a district title in 2016 and another winning season last year. This past season the Trojans were 3-20. Like Garberich, Hecker said he stepped down for family reasons. He has an 8-month-old and said the time is right to step away and raise his family.