New coach looks to carry on Fox Chapel golf’s championship tradition


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Saturday, August 6, 2022 | 8:01 AM


After winning the sixth WPIAL team golf title in school history last fall, Fox Chapel boys coach Bryan Deal retired.

But new coach Joe Farrell is anxious to continue the program’s legacy that includes 30 section titles.

“The program is a very good program,” Farrell said. “We lost five starters, but we always seem to fill in the blanks. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

It won’t be easy, however, as five key golfers have graduated. Eli Yofan, Trib HSSN’s Male Athlete of the Year, along with Max Johnson, Zach Piper, Owen Delaney and John Walsh have departed.

But one golfer to build around is back — junior Davey Fuhrer. Last year, Fuhrer shot a team second-best 74 as the Foxes defeated Central Catholic by one stroke — 276-277 — to win the WPIAL title at Cedarbrook Country Club.

Farrell has spent time on the links with his son, Fuhrer and his father.

“Knowing the family as long as I have, it’s fun to watch young Davey play,” Farrell said.

Also expected to play a key role in this year’s team is senior Andrew Begg, along with freshman Anderson Dockey.

Dockey’s brother, JP, helped Fox Chapel to the WPIAL boys basketball title in March. Farrell has been an assistant with the team for 14 years and plans on continuing in that capacity this winter. Farrell was also Riverview’s head basketball coach for a brief time.

“We’re going to be young this year,” Farrell said of his team’s prospects. “Our goal is to continue to make Fox Chapel golf a special thing and to keep the tradition going.”

The team will hold tryouts at the Fox Chapel Field Club and jump right into the scholastic season. Golf starts its season quicker than other fall sports such as football and soccer, but Farrell doesn’t feel that is a disadvantage, especially with a basically inexperienced team.

“Kids nowadays play a lot of competitive golf at a lot of competitive golf courses before the season starts, such as the Tri-State PGA. They’re not intimidated by any of these golf courses we’ll see,” said Farrell, a Central Catholic graduate.

His alma mater is a school that Fox Chapel always seems to be battling in a number of sports, along with neighboring Shady Side Academy.

Said Farrell: “I don’t want to leave any schools out that provide us with good competition. Plum is a much-improved team. Then you have Nick Turowski over at Penn-Trafford, and he’s just a junior.”

The Foxes will be competing in Section 8-3A over the next two seasons against Shady Side, a school playing up in classification, along with Hampton, Highlands, North Catholic and Shaler.

“Coach Deal left the program in great shape,” said Farrell. “It’s not like the cupboard’s bare. I’m anxious to see what these kids can achieve.”

Deal, who started his coaching career in Ohio before coming to Pitt as an assistant under Walt Harris, retired from education at Fox Chapel in 2021, but decided to stay as golf coach for a final season.

The Foxes tied State College in the PIAA title match last October at Heritage Hills Golf Club in York, 292-292, but the Little Lions won in a playoff.

The standard is the standard

Besides winning 30 section titles from 1966-2021, here are some other Fox Chapel boys golf accomplishments:

WPIAL titles: 1974, ’76, 84, 2006, ’19 ’21.

PIAA title: 2019

WPIAL runner-up: 2009, ’10, ’13, 15, 16, 18, 20

PIAA runner-up: 2021

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