Paul Meyerchick is FHS’ new girls’ basketball coach

Published 8:17 am Thursday, May 23, 2013

Franklinton has named Paul Meyerchick its new girls basketball coach.

Meyerchick, who has coached at Varnado for many years, takes over for his wife, Regina, who will coach the junior high teams and assist her husband with the varsity club.

Paul Meyerchick said he’s excited about the move and working closer to home and with his wife.

Meyerchick started his career at Varnado in 1986, left, then returned in 2003, and he’s coached the boys’ basketball team every year since then except for the 2005-06 season, the only time the Wildcats haven’t made the playoffs since 2003.

He was also the Wildcats’ football coach from 2003 until last season, when Scott Shaffett took the reigns on the gridiron.

“I love working here,” Meyerchick said. “Varnado is like a second home to me. We’ve got some really good kids here. The travel got tough.”

Meyerchick began his career at VHS (1986-91) as the head boys’ basketball and assistant football coach. He went to Bogalusa (91-94) and was the head boys’ basketball coach and assistant football coach. His next stop was Franklinton (1994-2003), where he was the head boys’ basketball coach and assistant football coach. He returned to VHS in 2003 and has been there ever since.

In his first stint at Varnado Meyerchick guided the Wildcats to a state championship in 1988 and a Top 28 appearance in 1990. He recorded his 500th career victory in the 2011-12 season.

Franklinton Principal Lisa Tanner said she is excited to have Meyerchick on board.

“It’s going to be a little bit different,” Tanner said. “It’s not going to be boys basketball, it’s going to be girls basketball, but we’re looking forward to great things.”

Tanner said it’s kind of a family affair.

“They want to see those kids do great. They’re going to work together to get our program where it needs to be,” she said.

Regina Meyerchick has been coaching girls’ basketball at Franklinton since 1994. She took off for four seasons (2004-08) before returning as an assistant for one year (2008-09). She became the head coach once again for the 2009-10 season.

Under her leadership the Lady Demons made the playoffs seven times, were the state runner-up once and reached the Sweet 16 three times.

Last season the Lady Demons tallied a 26-5 record and made the playoffs as the 15th seed. FHS lost to 18th-seeded Northside, 49-40, in the bi-district round.

Nine FHS players have signed to play college ball with Regina Meyerchick at the helm.

The last three years she coached two separate junior high teams (the seventh- and eight-grade clubs), the junior varsity and varsity at the same time. She said making the move didn’t take a lot of thought.

“It makes sense,” Meyerchick said. “It’s best for the kids. If you’re not coaching and teaching for the kids, then there’s no reason to do it. I’m excited, and it’s the right thing to do.”

Franklinton assistant coach Elecia Crain is staying on and will continue her role as an assistant coach.

“She’s a former player of mine,” Regina Meyerchick said. “She’s been my right hand. She’s like one of our kids. She’s going to have a new person to work with and another style. She and I will have a big part of this team, along with Paul. She’s been a valuable asset to our program. She is a big reason why this team has been so strong. She’s such a great person.”