He may be unproven, but Heckman still has big goals for Lady Falcons

The Blair Oaks Lady Falcons are off to a 5-1 start this season. (Rod Smith/KRCG13)

WARDSVILLE --- Darren Heckman doesn't quite have the coaching pedigree of Mike Krzyzewski or Geno Auriemma.

At the very least, however, his name's a lot easier to spell.

But to say Heckman was untested and unproven as a high school basketball coach would be an understatement. He'd attended a lot of high school games, that's about it. His actual coaching experience consisted of grade school, middle school, and summer AAU teams the past 11 years.

So you could call this a leap of faith in Wardsville when Blair Oaks hired Heckman to coach the varsity Lady Falcons this season.

"When the position came open," Heckman said, "I had the crazy idea that maybe I'd put my name in the hat, not knowing what kind of interest they had in the job. I think the bigger point is that it's gotten harder to find coaches.

"I'd like to tell you I'd been thinking about this a long time, but not really. It was more when the opportunity presented itself. I feel like I've got something to contribute, and I was concerned with what might happen (with the program) and thought I'd give it a shot. So here we are."

He's certainly grateful.

"I feel very fortunate and I'm very appreciative to have this opportunity," said Heckman, 43, who's a 1992 graduate of Blair Oaks. "I've been around the program my whole life, it's not like I snuck up on anybody, from that standpoint. But this is a little unique, most of the time you don't find somebody at the varsity level who doesn't have that experience.

"People ask me how it's going, and I tell them I don't have anything to compare it to. As far as I know, it's going fine."

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