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