Fishburne PG basketball coach Ed Huckaby: We changed lives
“They just wanted to go in the direction they chose. I have no problem with that. Fishburne was a great place to work. I don’t leave with any malice or anger. It was a great place to be, a great place to be a part of. I made a lot of good friends there that I hope will last a lifetime,” said Huckaby, who was the founding coach in 2009, and led the Caissons to two national tournaments and a #1 national ranking in his run.
A long line of jerseys hang in the rafters at Alumni Memorial Gym representing the more than 60 student-athletes from the postgrad program who went on to earn Division ! scholarships. That, Huckaby said, is the “biggest accomplishment” and the enduring legacy of the PG program at Fishburne.
“We helped change lives,” Huckaby said. “We talk about helping build young people into being leaders of men. I helped change lives, along with my assistant coaches. I was able to put these guys on a path toward higher education that will help them the rest of their lives.”
Huckaby also looked back at how the PG program helped “bring a winning mentality back to campus.”
“Sports can be a real morale booster, and we really helped bring that mentality back after the high-school sports here had gone through a bit of a lull,” Huckaby said. “And we were able to get out into the community to expose what Fishburne does to a wider section of the community. We had a lot of dedicated fans who were a part of what we did, and I think that community outreach was important.”
Now out of a job, Huckaby, a former assistant at Hampton and Wright State, is already busy working the phones with contacts across the college basketball coaching community to see where basketball will take him next.
“I’ll get back into coaching. It may take a couple of months as schools fill vacancies, and the coaches they hire start filling out their staffs. I’ll have some opportunities,” Huckaby said. “I’m more concerned with my assistant coaches. They’re young guys who came into Fishburne really eager, and it was quick, being here six months and then there’s a change. That happens in this business, though. You have to expect this.”
It’s not quite the case that Huckaby leaves with no regrets. He made it a point to set his teams’ sights on a national championship at the start of each season, and a pair of tight losses in the national quarterfinals in 2013 and 2014 kept that from happening.
But there’s more to basketball than the wins and losses.
“The Waynesboro community has been great. I made a lot of good friends here. I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity. I think we were able to change a lot of young men’s lives. I know that we did the right thing, and that we represented the Fishburne name well,” Huckaby said.
– Story by Chris Graham