The job descriptions of a high school coach go far beyond collecting wins on the gridiron, field, or court. Sure, it’s always important to build a winning team, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t compare to the most important task: shaping and molding young men and women into extraordinary individuals for life.
Jeremiah Faber checked all the boxes during his incredible 35-year career coaching hoops in the Lowcountry and earned himself a coveted spot in the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Not only did he win countless region titles and continually send his squads to the state championship, but Faber did so much more off the court. He exemplified all the roles that make up a perfect high school coach: a mentor, a teacher, and a friend who guides his student-athletes on a path to success in all areas and helps set them in the right direction for the rest of their lives.
I wish I had the opportunity to cover Faber a little more, but I’ve certainly read and heard about his many accomplishments throughout his illustrious career. He accumulated an incredible 565 wins in the span of 35 seasons in Jasper County, including 135 victories at Ridgeland-Hardeeville while leading the Jaguars to an incredible three Lower State titles. His dedication to his coaching craft was unmatched, and he kept setting goals and achieving them.
It started with just winning one game, then the region, then the Lower State. He built a winning culture, and his players were a strong example of his fight and commitment no matter the day or the opponent that stood in their way.
But what impressed me the most about Faber was his dedication to growing the entire individual, not just the basketball player on the court. He didn’t get into coaching with the eye of winning a championship, bringing glory to himself, or looking for notoriety and fame. He did it all for the kids. He set a flawless example of how to win at life through hard work, determination, and persistence, which carries on well after the final buzzer on the court.
His Christian faith guided him to set a strong example for all of his young men and instilled in them the qualities that made him the gracious and successful individual that he has become. Faber put each student before himself and made sure to set them on the path to a life of respect, gratitude, and dedication. When you lay down the fundamentals of teamwork, selflessness, and determination, the wins will follow. And for coach Faber, they certainly did.
We can all take something away from the remarkable career of Jeremiah Faber, whether you are a current coach, student-athlete, student, sportswriter, or person. As the newly crowned Hall of Famer said himself, “whatever you do in life, be committed to it.” And when you combine that commitment with a love for others and a positive attitude, you’ll find yourself winning in whatever field you pursue.
The greatest coaches are more than just coaches. They are leaders, mentors, and best friends that you can rely on at any time, and nobody in the Lowcountry did it better than the legendary Jeremiah Faber.
By Wes Kerr