Up­per Dublin names new girls’hoops coach

Glenside News - - OPINION - By Mike Prince

Af­ter seven years as the jayvee boys’ bas­ket­ball coach at Up­per Dublin, Mor­gan Fun­sten has finDOOy EHHn JLYHn WKH op­por­tu­nity to do what he’s al­ways wanted to do – be the head coach at a school where he also teaches.

On Mon­day night, Fun­sten was of­fiFLDOOy KLUHG DV WKH nHw FRDFK IRU WKH Up­per Dublin girls’ bas­ket­ball team, tak­ing over for Vince Catan­zaro, who was at the helm for 11 years.

Fun­sten, who teaches high school math, has been coach­ing bas­ket­ball for eight years, while also be­ing the as­sis­tant coach for the Up­per Dublin boys’ soc­cer team. And now, just days af­ter be­ing hired, Fun­sten has al­ready be­gun work­ing with his new team.

“WH KDG RuU fiUVW RSHn JyP Rn Tues­day,” he said, “so we’re go­ing to be see­ing a lot of each other be­fore SUDFWLFH RI­fiFLDOOy EHJLnV Ln 1RYHPEHU. I saw the post­ing and I felt like it was a coach­ing job that was just too good to pass up, so I put my name in the run­ning.”

)unVWHn wDV RULJLnDOOy nRWL­fiHG Rn July 25 that the job would be his.

“I was real ex­cited,” he said. “I had in­ter­viewed about two weeks prior and I had to check my email and voice­mail like 25 times a day. I was so anx­ious WR finG RuW DnG wKHn , JRW WKH FDOO, , was ec­static.”

Up­per Dublin’s sports pro­grams have been led by Hope Donnell for the past few years, who sat in as the school’s ath­letic di­rec­tor. But Eric dreiner, who was with Up­per Dublin in pre­vi­ous years, has stepped back in as the school’s AD and is very FRn­fiGHnW wLWK WKH GHFLVLRn WR JR wLWK Fun­sten.

“I am ex­cited about the pas­sion and en­thu­si­asm that Coach Fun­sten has for the sport and that he will bring to the girls’ pro­gram,” dreiner said. “He has an ex­cit­ing vi­sion for the fu­ture of the girls’ bas­ket­ball team at Up­per Dublin and looks to continue with the win­ning tradition that has been es­tab­lished.”

That win­ning tradition, which has been con­sis­tent over the past few VHDVRnV, VDw WKH /DGy CDUGLnDOV finLVK last sea­son with an over­all record of 23-6, LnFOuGLnJ D VHFRnG SODFH finLVK in the Subur­ban One Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence, as well as a berth in the PIAA Class AAAA tour­na­ment.

And Fun­sten, who pointed out how some coaches take over for teams and have to start re­build­ing, cited his team’s re­cent suc­cess as one of the

best as­pects of takLng over at Up­per DublLn.

“SometLmes, you have a pro­gram that Ls re­buLldLng, but thLs op­por­tunLty Ls not one of those,” Fun­sten saLd. “,t’s a cham­pLon­shLp-calLber pro­gram and , feel lLke ,’m step­pLng rLght Lnto Lt and that was very ex­cLtLng to me when choosLng thLs job.”

Up­per DublLn lost two of Lts key starters to grad­u­atLon, Ln­cludLng 1,000-poLnt scorer Tay­lor Bryant, but Lt re­turns three starters and a num­ber of key bench play­ers from last year’s team.

“,t’s goLng to be a chal­lenge, but the re­turnLng starters and the other gLrls who played Lm­por­tant mLnutes have a lot of tal­ent and com­mLt­ment, so ,’m lookLng for­ward to seeLng what they brLng to the ta­ble,” Fun­sten saLd. “,t’s al­ways a bLt of a learnLng curve wLth a new coach, but we’re goLng to try to meet wLth the gLrls as much as pos­sLble.”

Fun­sten saLd that hLs staff Ls stLll “a work Ln progress,” and he and GreLner wLll sLt down to fig­ure out what mem­bers of the coachLng staff wLll be brought back for thLs wLn­ter sea­son.

But even wLth all the un­cer­taLn­tLes – whether they be the coachLng staff, who wLll be re­placLng the lost starters or how the gLrls wLll re­spond to a new coach, Fun­sten saLd that he’s be­yond ex­cLted to begLn coachLng a new team, es­pecLally one at a school where he can teach and see the kLds out of prac­tLce.

“,t was Lm­por­tant for me to be a teacher at a school where , taught and ,’m ex­cLted about that,” he saLd. “, al­ready know a lot of the play­ers and wLll see them Ln school and , thLnk we’ll be able to com­pete for a league cham­pLon­shLp and an­other state play­off berth. ThLs was just one of those op­por­tunLtLes that , could not pass up and ,’m ex­cLted.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia / BOB RAINES

Mor­gan Fun­sten has been named the new Up­per Dublin High School girls’ bas­ket­ball coach.

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