High School Sports

Emery to coach HHCA boys basketball team

Around Hilton Head Christian Academy, Vinnie Emery has become known for his quick strategic thinking as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles' football team.

Now Emery will have a chance to make his name as a basketball coach at the school.

Emery has been named the replacement to boys basketball coach Jerry Faulkner, who retired last month for health and personal reasons, athletics director Tommy Lewis said.

Although Emery initially will carry the interim tag in his title, Lewis said there is a possibility he "could be the long-term guy" the school hopes to hire to guide its boys basketball program.

Before moving to the area, Emery had an extensive coaching background in Maine, and he said he spent 10 years coaching basketball and seven coaching football. Since moving to South Carolina, he has shifted his focus primarily to football, but he did spend some time helping with the basketball program at McCracken Middle School in Bluffton.

"I'm excited to coach these kids, because they're good kids," said Emery, who is the children's pastor at Lowcountry Community Church in Bluffton. "I know most of the kids real well, but I know some better than others because I haven't been part of the basketball program here."

Emery said Rick Meccariello will stay on as a varsity assistant, and former college coach Terry Truax, who took Towson State to two NCAA tournaments in the 1990s, will join the staff as an assistant. Ben Gerhdts will coach the junior varsity, and Troy McCracken will coach the middle school.