Charlie Fisher new boys hoop coach

By on April 29, 2015

Ephrata hires Fisher as boys hoop coach

Ephrata tapped into one of the most successful programs in the L-L League to find its new head boys basketball coach.

Monday night at the monthly Ephrata school board meeting, Manheim Central assistant Charlie Fisher was officially hired as head coach of the Mounts. He’ll replace Jason Coletti, who resigned after four seasons following last year’s 4-18 campaign.ER(CUTOUT) 20150429_Fisherwball

Fisher, just 27, has no head coaching experience but has been an integral part to Barons’ Coach Chris Sherwood’s staff during their recent run which included back-to-back State playoff berths and a pair of Section Three titles.

“I am excited to begin this new journey,” Fisher said. “Ephrata is a very passionate, supportive community, and I am thrilled to now be a part of it. Most of all, I can’t wait to meet my players and for us to get in the gym so we can get started.”

Fisher received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Lebanon Valley College and a Master of Science Degree in Educational Strategies and Practices from Wilkes University. He is a graduate of Reading High School and is currently a fifth grade science and social studies teacher at Manheim Central Middle School.

“I believe that Coach Fisher will bring high expectations and a tremendous passion, energy, and positive approach to our basketball program. We are fortunate to have Coach Fisher as the new leader of our boys’ basketball program,” commented Assistant Superintendent Richard Hornberger.

Reached Monday night, Sherwood, who said Fisher was like “a second head coach” on his bench, has no doubt his now former right-hand man is ready to lead his own program.

Sherwood said Fisher’s loss will be felt in Manheim, and his loss is definitely Ephrata’s gain.

“He teaches down the hall from me, and yet I feel like I’m losing a brother,” he said. We’ll continue to teach down the hall from each other, but it’s not just a loss basketball-wise. He’s a great friend, and we bond with people who have the same goals as us, and by no means am I comparing what he and I are doing as going to battle. It’s such a bad choice of words. But he and I were competitive together. We fought on the same team. And our competitiveness mirrored each other, and therefore, I think we not only have really good players and I always wanted to give credit to the players. But we had a really, really good coach in Coach Fisher as well, and he’s going to do a great job at Ephrata because he’s going to bring all of these things that I’m talking about right now to Ephrata. So when I say I never want to be outworked, well I’m going to have to work awfully hard because I know somebody about 10 miles away who’s going to be working really, really hard to make his team better.”

Fisher began coaching from the moment he arrived on the Manheim Central campus. He was the eighth-grade coach his first year before Sherwood arrived and bumped him up to the ninth grade level for the next two years.

“After that second year with the ninth grade, I told (Sherwood), ‘look, I want to be a head coach,'” Fisher said. “I would love it if I could come up there (to varsity) and get that experience.’ And he was 100 percent for it.”

Fisher, who resides in Lititz, paid his dues over the next few seasons, helping the Barons become one of the top programs in the L-L League and District Three. And while gaining valuable experience on the varsity bench, Fisher said he was looking for the right opportunity to settle in as a head coach. That obviously presented itself when the Ephrata job opened up.

“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach,” he said. “I got on as varsity assistant, and Coach Sherwood and I have been close for the last five years. I credit him for a lot of what I’m going to give to the Ephrata program. (After this past season), I said to Coach Sherwood, ‘if the right job opens up, I think I’m ready to go.’ And I would have never applied to a position if I didn’t think it was the right job. And the Ephrata one opened up and we talked about it. I got my cover letter and resume together and I told him now is the time. And he goes, this is not going to be easy for me but I support everything you do 100 percent.”

“I always wanted to run my own program and I just felt that now was the time,” he continued. “I’m young, I don’t have any kids and my wife is very supportive of me. I was a very busy assistant coach at Manheim Central so I’m very excited to roll that over to my own program.”

Fisher who is also an assistant coach on the Barons’ baseball team, said Ephrata was the right opportunity for several reasons.

“The job is very appealing, for the simple fact that it’s a Quad-A school,” he said. “It’s a bigger pool of kids that I’m pulling from, and every experience I’ve ever had with Ephrata players— I coach baseball here at Manheim Central— their baseball team is always tough. Their basketball team, even with their record last year, I saw that they were competitive. And quite frankly it is a tough place to go and play, and the homecourt advantage that they have is great. That was definitely appealing to me, and the fact that I knew I could go in there and be able to start my program. Going into a team that went 4-18 last year obviously there are going to be some challenges. But from Day One it seemed like a program that I wanted to become involved in and lead. Everything I’ve heard from people say the community is awesome, very supportive…it’s an exciting time for me and I can’t wait to meet the kids.”

Fisher was asked to sum up his style as a coach.

“I will definitely lead with that passion and that compassion that I believe in and I think all good coaches have,” he said. “As far as my style, I’m a loud guy. It’s unintentionally but it’s just how it is. I’m very positive. I go with the positive approach and I think that’s the teacher coming out of me. Everything I do is positive. I always look on the up. Philosophy-wise, we are going to play hard, and as a team. We are going to play good defense and we’re going to bring that sense of confidence onto the court. When we get to a game, I want us all, coaches and players, to present ourselves in a way that we are there to compete. We are not just there to show up, we are there to compete, and I hope that rolls over onto my guys.”

As far as the current state of the Ephrata program, he is familiar with some of the players, including junior Matt McGillan, who returns next season after averaging 17.3 points per game this past year. He’ll get to meet all of them Thursday when he’ll get together with the squad for the first time.

“The biggest thing is Ephrata has always seemed to have successful junior high teams,” he said. “They have a lot of good athletes at a young age, so my biggest thing is going to be to keep those eighth and ninth and 10th graders in the program. I know they played a lot of young guys last year. The good thing is we have a kid like McGillan. Having that leader…he’s the guy that’s going to be that backbone for the team as we go in because he’s the guy these younger guys are going to look up to. And we’re fortunate that there were a lot of freshmen and sophomores on (last year’s) team, and I hear that there are some competitive eighth graders coming up in the mix so I’m very excited to see that young talent. But like I said, seniors win games and when you have a senior that is scoring 17-18 points a game as a junior, that is an awesome situation for me to go into. I’m excited to meet him, and I’m excited to meet all the guys.”

“I wanted to lead a program for forever and I felt as though now is the right time to do so. And I feel like I’m going into a pretty sweet spot so I’m really excited to get in there and get going.”









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