Marci Faulk sits in her office overlooking the GHS gynamsium where, in just over a month, she will coach her first Lady Blues volleyball game.

She feels at home.

Her husband, Jay, has lived and worked in Graham for the past seven years while she coached at Bryson High School. Faulk lived in Bryson for three years with their son, Gage, until they bought a house in Graham four years ago. Faulk then commuted to Bryson.

She took over a Bryson program in 2007 that was wrought with coaching turnover and, she was told, hadn't won a district game in three years. In Faulk's first season, the Cowgirls made the playoffs.

“I had kids there that bought into my system and they worked hard,” she said.
Marci Faulk takes over the Lady Blues volleyball program after seven years at Bryson. She has lived in Graham for the past four years.
Marci Faulk takes over the Lady Blues volleyball program after seven years at Bryson. She has lived in Graham for the past four years. (Tori Cummings)
“They did what I asked.”

The Cowgirls made four more playoff appearances under Faulk. They also went to the regional quarterfinals in 2008 and the regional semifinals in 2012. Bryrson posted a 30-9 record in 2013 and won District 8-1A with a 10-0 record.

She was named Coach of the Year in 2012 and had seven players earn district honors in 2013.

Now, her desk at Graham is covered in papers and two black and white notebooks marked with a pink circle and a giant black ‘M' in the middle. Among those papers is a copy of the volleyball page from the 2013-14 yearbook; a single sheet of paper with three horizontal black and white team pictures. Faulk is using that paper to learn names and faces before all the athletes flood into the gym for fast approaching volleyball camps and practices.

But Faulk isn't starting this new coaching endeavor on her own. Her assistant, Trey Kramer, who she said was a big part of her success in Bryson, came with her.

While leaving Bryson wasn't easy, Faulk believes it was the right decision.

“I don't doubt it, and I think Trey and I have been put here for a reason,” she said.

Kramer, who grew up in Graham and will teach social studies, joined Faulk when she started at Bryson. He had never played volleyball, but Faulk taught him to play along with the rest of the team.

“I went through most of the stuff she was showing the girls,” Kramer said. “She's real good at breaking it down and teaching how to properly do things.”

Teaching Kramer the basics of volleyball was a familiar feeling for Faulk since she had taught herself the game nine years earlier. Faulk played basketball at Marlow High School in Oklahoma. Volleyball, however, wasn't offered when Faulk attended and still isn't to this day.

Faulk's first coaching job out of college in 1998 was at Kermit High School (Texas) coaching junior varsity basketball and volleyball. 

To prepare for her new job, she spent countless nights tossing a volleyball to herself learning the correct techniques. 

Read the rest of the story in this weekend's Graham Leader.