The upside to Emily Faught undergoing knee surgery her senior year at Gar-Field, and twice while playing at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, is that she got to see basketball from a coach's perspective.
"That's actually how I figured out I wanted to start coaching," she said. "After sitting on the sidelines watching it pain free and getting a different view of it."
Faught soon will get a long look at Prince William County girls' basketball. On Tuesday, she was named head coach at Hylton, replacing Melvin Smith, who stepped down during the summer after seven seasons.
Faught, an honorable mention All-Met her junior year at Gar-Field, where she played on teams that lost only eight games during her career, in recent years served as an assistant at both Virginia Commonwealth and Wagner University. Before coaching in college, she was a high school assistant for one year in Charlotte. She graduated from Gar-Field in 1997.
Faught met with her players Tuesday after school. The Bulldogs went 15-7 last season and reached the Virginia AAA Northwestern Region quarterfinals. They graduated only one senior. Among the returning players is sophomore guard Ariana Moorer, an all-Northwestern Region choice.
"I don't know any of them," said Faught, who works in advertising and will not teach at Hylton. "I don't know who's the star player and who the role player is.
"I want to make sure we get a chemistry going. I think first and foremost is making them believe in Hylton's program, and making them believe in me, because I'm going to believe in them if they give me all they can."
Smith went 90-61 in seven years as head coach, including 77-31 the past five seasons. He will be an assistant in the boys' basketball program this winter.
Hylton Activities Director Jim Qualls said he interviewed six candidates for the position.
"I watched [Faught] for four years [in high school]," Qualls said. "I didn't like her then. I like her now. I had to watch her whip up on us. Now she's on our team."