From student-athlete to assistant coach

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Staff Writer: Jarren Cottingham

     Some like the game, some love it, and there is a huge difference between like and love. Kerigan Farley, born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina knew from a young age that he wanted to be involved with the game of basketball. 

     Farley came to Wingate University in the Fall of 2014 after spending his freshman year at Montreat College. “All of the great things I heard about the university, the family atmosphere, and the warm welcome on my visit played a huge factor in me deciding to enroll here. Wingate also gave me an opportunity to further my academic and athletic career,” Farley said.

     After redshirting his first year as a Bulldog due to NCAA transfer rules, he made his return to the hardwood in the Winter of 2015 and finished his redshirt sophomore campaign averaging 5 points and 3 assist as the teams backup point guard.

     Farley’s basketball career came to an abrupt stop as he tore his ACL in the first game of his redshirt junior season. He made it a mission to push himself to make sure he was ready for opening night of the next season. Farley worked hard all spring and summer in rehab with former Wingate athletic trainer Dannie Burningham. 

     As the 2017-18 season neared, Farley was cleared a week before opening night and in the team’s first game versus Limestone he made his second return to the court. In his first game back since tearing his ACL a year earlier, he saw limited action scoring 4 points in 18 minutes of action. Farley was the driving force of the team for a majority of the season but he was not prepared for what was soon to come.

     In the later stages of the season as Wingate was on the road facing Tusculum University, Farley drove baseline, jump stopped, and immediately fell to the floor clutching at his knee. He knew from past experience that his ACL was torn and that his season was over. At this point he began to contemplate giving up the sport he had loved since childhood. “Re-tearing my ACL deeply affected and I started questioning a lot of things in my life as I had to momentarily give up basketball. It took some time for me to gather myself and refocus my passion in basketball from a player perspective to a coaching perspective,” Farley said.

     After his playing career ended, he almost immediately found a position on Wingate’s coaching staff the next season. “The transition from player to coach was easy. As a point guard, I was always looked up to as an extension of the coaching staff on the court. Also, I already had the respect of the current coaching staff and players that made the transition smooth as well,” Farley added.

     Farley is currently in his second season as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs. His love for the game hasn’t faded one bit as he wants to stay around the game of basketball for a while. “I plan to continue my career as a college basketball coach and move up in the rankings as I would like to one day be a college coach at the division I level,” Farley said. 

     Over the past two seasons, Farley has earned the reputation of a great coach from his fellow players. He has earned the utmost respect from each and every one of his players and his knowledge for the game doesn’t go without acknowledgement. It is safe to say that Farley will be around the game for many years to come.

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