E.A. Sports Today

Big changes at little Faith

Kisor joins the Lions as the new athletics director in June with basically an entire coaching staff to hire

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Justin Kisor is about to start as Faith Christian’s new director of athletics but he won’t have much time to catch his breath.

The 28-year-old Leesburg native has an entire coaching staff to hire as wholesale changes have been underway in the Lions’ athletics department since the retirement of headmaster Bob Phillips. Virtually all of the school’s head coaches will be different when the 2017-18 school year begins.

“The landscape of Faith Christian has changed drastically over the last month or so,” outgoing athletics director Bradley Dawson said.

Kisor replaces Dawson as AD and volleyball coach. Chelsea Robinson is out as the recently elevated girls basketball coach and tennis coach, as are softball coach Amelia Foshee and first-year soccer coach Daniel Patten. Foshee will remain at the school as a counselor.

“Since Mr. Phillips left kind of a lot of change has happened recently,” Dawson said. “I think the sad part with all the coaches not being renewed or leaving is it’s going to greatly effect the athletics program that we worked so hard to improve over the last few years.

“I know with all the changes we’ve had a lot of people (players) are looking at changing schools also. I think the teams you saw last year at Faith could be drastically different this year.”

Two coaching spots have been filled. Vic Minish is coming back to retake the cross country teams and Casey Farr is coming in from Ashville Middle School to become girls basketball coach, but the other spots are wide open.

Kisor knows a little about getting thrown into the fire. He was elevated to interim head volleyball coach at Cedar Bluff in 2015 when the head coach went on maternity leave right before the regionals. His team was knocked out of the tournament on Day 2 by Donoho.

He also has been an assistant coach in basketball and baseball at Sand Rock, but has been out of coaching for a year.

“It’s definitely been a change of pace for me,” he said. “if you told me a year ago when I couldn’t find a job I would be an AD … This is a dream come true for me. I’m very thankful and I know I’m not going to take it for granted.”

As the Lions’ athletics director it’ll be his responsibility to make sure all the athletes are eligible, all the coaches are certified and the schedules are complete.

And then there’s this matter of hiring coaches. Most of them will be done in consultation with incoming headmaster Chip Jones, who is expected to arrive in late June. Jones comes from Ben Lippen School, a private Christian school in Columbia, S.C., that sponsors 19 boys and girls sports.

“I’m just using people I met through college (Jacksonville State), people I met who may not have a job who I know would be great coaches and need an opportunity,” Kisor said. “A lot of times in life people might be great at one thing but don’t get an opportunity.

“My thing is giving someone the opportunity to be great. Getting coaches in there who work hard and be what Faith is about.”

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