Deneshia Faulkner named Jones College women’s basketball coach

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 11:04 PM CDT
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Jones College Sports Information

ELLISVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - Deneshia Faulkner is the new head women’s basketball coach at Jones College.

“It’s super exciting,” she said at a Tuesday morning press conference in McClellan Hall on the Jones campus. “I am very thankful to (Jones President) Dr. (Jesse) Smith for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get in and get started and I’m very grateful.”

She is the 13th head coach in the women’s basketball program’s history. Faulkner, a Heidelberg native, comes to Jones after a successful stint at Meridian High School where she guided the Lady Wildcats to their first MHSAA girls’ championship in 2021-22.

Faulkner went to Alabama State University and won six SWAC championships in track and field between 2000 and 2004.

She studied English and Language Arts at ASU and then went to William Carey University where she received a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in education. After graduating from WCU, she became an English teacher and then head coach at Heidelberg High School.

She led the Lady Oilers to an undefeated regular season – the first in 25 years at HHS – with their only loss coming in the MHSAA championship game. Faulkner was also instrumental in helping HHS students achieve high English scores on the state standardized tests.

Faulkner became head coach at Meridian in 2017. She plans to meet with the returning Bobcats soon.

“I will tell them a little bit about what to expect,” she said. “I will tell them our standards and expectations. I will get to know them a little bit and we will have a family environment. I will make sure the players understand the expectations dealing with culture, but it starts with character. That will be communicated early on to the players.”

Faulkner is familiar with Jones having played at Heidelberg and she has sent several players to play for the Bobcats in recent years.

“I’ve been around Jones and I’ve had a lot of great players that have come through here,” she said. “I coached players who came here, left Jones and did some really great things. Jones has always felt like home to me. I’ve been here and I feel like I come here every year.”

Jones has enjoyed tremendous success in women’s basketball recently under the guidance of Missy Bilderback who resigned last month to become the head coach at The University of Louisiana Monroe.

Faulkner said the players must buy into her beliefs to continue to be a winning program.

“The biggest thing is you have to be mentally tough,” she said. “You have to have that discipline and that work ethic. That won’t be optional for our players here.”

After serving 11 years as a high school coach, Faulkner is most proud of the fact that 100 percent of her players have graduated, 23 have earned athletic scholarships and four have enlisted in the nation’s Armed Forces.

Faulkner is married to former Jones College basketball player Scottie Faulkner and they have two daughters, Raygan and Riley.

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