STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — Faith Academy of Marble Falls found its new head girls basketball coach in someone with lengthy ties to the Marble Falls basketball scene and family ties to the private Christian school.
Faith Academy athletic director Jeremy Wentrcek announced Sept. 6 that Larry Berkman is taking the position. Berkman served 21 years as the Marble Falls High School boys head basketball coach and coached at Faith from 2008-11.
During his first stint at Faith, Berkman coached his grandson Brian Freeman.
One of his reasons for returning this time was to coach another family member, granddaughter Bailey Freeman, Brian’s sister.
It’s not the only time Berkman has coached a member of his family.
“I coached my son, John Allen (in basketball), and my daughters, Becca and Bethann, in softball,” he said. “I coached my other granddaughter, Alyssa, who’s in the eighth grade, in basketball. I’m looking forward. It’s exciting. Not everyone gets to do that. I feel fortunate to get to do that. Not many people get to coach their children and grandchildren, so I feel blessed.”
He was quick to add that, while Bailey is a big reason for taking the position, he also wants to help the other players in all phases of their lives. Most who know the elder Berkman say the coach uses basketball as a vessel to teach life lessons players can apply after school.
Wentrcek noted that Berkman’s family is integrated at the academy. The fact that he is a winner is an added bonus.
“He has an extremely proven track record,” he said. “He’s a successful coach in the Marble Falls community, but it starts as a Godly man and what we needed in our program.”
In addition to his ability to coach and relate to the Lady Flames, the athletic director also sees where Berkman can help boys head basketball coach Zakk Revelle.
“Zakk has a tremendous amount of respect for Larry,” Wentrcek said. “We’ve been talking to Larry for months. Zakk had been telling me about Larry. You’ll see Larry and Zakk working together. Anytime you get a veteran coach, it helps your staff.”
Basketball season tips off in early November.