College Baseball: Banks Faulkner joining Newberry staff


Banks Faulkner is leaving high school coaching for a college job.

Faulkner, who led Blythewood High baseball to its winningest season in school history in 2021, will be the next pitching coach at Newberry College, he told The State. An official announcement of Faulkner’s hire is expected Friday.

Faulkner met with Blythewood players and coaches Thursday morning to tell them the news. He’s been at Blythewood for six seasons and has always had aspirations of getting into college coaching one day.

Newberry coach Russell Triplett reached out to Faulkner a few weeks ago about the job opening after pitching coach Ryan West left the program.

“I have known Trip forever and we have had some guys go play there and have some success,” Faulkner said. “I have been pretty in tune to that program and follow them. I’m really excited about the opportunity.”

It is the second time in the last year an area high school baseball coach is leaving for a college job. Tim Perry left Airport to take a position on the Coastal Carolina staff.

In six seasons at Blythewood, Faulkner had a 112-43 record and was 182-67 overall with five region championships in three different stops around the state.

The Bengals went 30-3 this season, setting a school record for most victories in a season. Blythewood was ranked No. 1 in Class 5A most of the season and ranked nationally in the MaxPreps and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper polls.

The Bengals lost in the Class 5A Upper State championship to Fort Mill.

Faulkner has led the Bengals to multiple region championships and a trip to the 2019 Class 5A championship series. Dutch Fork defeated Blythewood in three games, with the deciding game played in front of a large crowd at Segra Park.

“Just all the memories and I made so many wonderful relationships, especially the last four years,” Faulkner said of his time at Blythewood. “I coached so many great kids and we won a lot of games together. We worked so hard. We have done everything but won a state title. That will sting a little bit. We did all we could to win one but it didn’t work out.

“The wins will fade, but I’ve got relationships with these kids that will last forever. I look forward to following them as many start their college journey.”

Faulkner was the second head baseball coach in Blythewood history, replacing Barry Mizzell, who led the Bengals to the 2013 championship series and was the program’s head coach when the school opened in 1995.

Faulkner coached under Mizzell at Blythewood from 2006-08.

Before getting the Blythewood head job, Faulkner was the head coach at Summerville for two seasons and led the Green Wave to the 2016 Class 4A championship while compiling a 51-12 record.

Faulkner also was a head coach at Wando for a season and an assistant coach at Gilbert.

Newberry went 38-13 this season including a 19-5 record in the South Atlantic Conference.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The (Columbia) State and (Hilton Head) Island Packet. He previously worked at the Florence Morning News and had covered high school sports in South Carolina since 2002. Lou is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.
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