American Leadership Academy adds to baseball, football coaching staffs

Posted 6/1/23

American Leadership Academy announced the addition of a head baseball coach and football defensive coordinator for their inaugural teams starting next season. 

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American Leadership Academy adds to baseball, football coaching staffs


Lexington’s American Leadership Academy, a new charter school set to open in the fall, announced the addition of a head baseball coach and football defensive coordinator for their inaugural teams starting next season. 

Former Blythewood head coach and Newberry College pitching coach Banks Faulkner was named the first-ever head baseball coach at American Leadership. 

Faulkner spent time as the head coach at Wando, Summerville and Blythewood. He experienced several successful seasons, including winning the 2016 5A state championship at Summerville. 

Last August, he left Blythewood to take the position of assistant/pitching coach at Newberry College. In his one season in charge of the pitching staff, Newberry went 43-15. 

“First and foremost, we are looking for good coaches, quality coaches, high character coaches. And Banks fits everything that we were looking for,” American Leadership athletic director Ray Canady told the Chronicle. “He’s a local guy from the area. He’s got a great track record with what he’s done at Summerville, at Blythewood and at Newberry College this past year. They had one of their most successful years ever at working with their pitchers. The opportunity to get him in at ALA is a big hire for us.”

For Faulkner, the position at American Leadership presents an opportunity to return to Lexington where he grew up and played high school baseball at Lexington High. That kind of homecoming is one of the only reasons he would leave the college ranks.

“I think it definitely is a special opportunity, just the right time and the right place,” Faulkner told the Chronicle. “You don’t ever know what the future holds but I really knew if I ever got back into high school it would have to be something really special.”

The more Faulkner learned about the school after talking with Canady, the more he knew the location of the school wasn’t the only thing that appealed to him.

“The more I learned about ALA and the more I thought the potential was at ALA to build a program and have it right here in Lexington,” Faulkner said. “It was just a chance to sort of come home and be able to get some really good coaches back together with me and add a few guys I have had relationships with and really put together an unbelievable staff.”

American Leadership head football coach Robin Bacon has wasted no time building his staff. On May 31, he announced on Twitter that he was bringing on former Columbia High School head coach Kemper Amick as the program’s first ever defensive coordinator. 

The biggest reason Bacon wanted Amick on his staff was because his defenses always presented the biggest challenges to his teams.

“When I was the head coach at A.C. Flora, he was at Columbia High School and we had a really good team. He had three players that played at South Carolina who were on that team. It was just a great chess match. Every time we made an adjustment and said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna hurt them here,’ he turned around on the next play and had an adjustment,” Bacon recalled. “As an offensive play caller, you want to get into a rhythm and the one thing I think he did and the one thing I’m most appreciative of as being an offensive guy looking at defensive guys was that he always had an adjustment.”

Bacon and Amick also spent time coaching together at the NFL’s Play It Smart program and at a junior player development program. 

For Amick, the desire to coach again and his respect for Bacon during their time coaching against each other made it an easy decision to join forces with him.

“Robin and I are good friends. He’s one of my better friends in the coaching world,” Amick said. “I have been wanting to get back into coaching and the opportunity is fantastic. I’ll be working with Robin and it sounds like a few more fantastic coaches that have been around the area. I just felt like it was the right time and a great opportunity.”

Amick also told the Chronicle that his defensive coaching philosophy is to combat modern offenses with simplicity and aggression.

American Leadership Academy, American Leadership Academy Baseball, American Leadership Academy Football, Ray Canady, Robin Bacon, Banks Faulkner, Kemper Amick


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