Phil Faulkner tribute story

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:29 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - A longtime coach and Athletic Director passed away yesterday. Phil Faulkner spent over 6 decades coaching and working with student athletes. The 84 year old played for Bridgewater and then attended the University of Maine Presque Isle. He coached several different sports during his career and was an Athletic Director and umpire. Faulkner won over 400 varsity games and after retiring as a varsity coach continued on as a sub varsity coach and Assistant coach at Southern Aroostook High School. Faulkner was inducted into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors, the University of Maine Presque Isle Hall of Fame and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. Here is the story I did with Faulkner before his induction into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.

Phil Faulkner):” It’s nice to have something like that, but it takes a lot of good kids to help you get it. You got the old axiom that you coach as good as your kids. If you have talent you are going to win. If you don’t have talent you are not going to win. I have been very fortunate with the kids that I have had.”

Faulkner works with the SAHS JV team and also coached the Middle School team for the past few years.

Faulkner:” The love of the kids and the game. It kinds of keep you young Keeps you moving just fun being around them.”

Faulkner won two state championships while in High School as a member of the Bridgewater Classical Academy team. He says that he learned al ot from his mentors including his coach Doug Harrington.

Faulkner:” I think we won 30 straight and won two states while Dougie was coaching. I would like to see him get into the basketball hall of fame because he deserves it. That was just the way Dougie was he was a great person and a great coach. Thanks to he and Jay Brewer and Ellery Yerxa they really were great to me.”

The longtime coach and Athletic Director won over 400 games during his time in Island Falls, Hodgdon, SAHS and Katahdihn

Faulkner:” The wins are something you don’t think about because you are preparing for the next game. If the kids came out and played hard you had a good chance to win.”

He still keeps in touch with his former players and is proud of their accomplishments.

Faulkner:” That is what I think most of all, What have my kids done after they got through playing basketball. About 85 percent of them went to school and made a better life for themself.”

On Sunday the University of Maine Presque Isle Hall of Famer and Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors recipient will be recognized with another major award honoring his over 6 decades in the sport of basketball

Faulkner:” There will be some good points and bad points of what people remember. I think it is the way that kids develop and we were like Washington County teams. We would get up and down the court as fast as we could and if we made a mistake on the offensive end we would make up for it on defense. A lot of people don’t like that, but I think it is a fun game to watch and the kids enjoyed playing it.”