Coalinga High School varsity boys basketball head coach reaches 300 career wins

Jessica Harrington Image
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Coalinga HS varsity boys basketball coach reaches 300 careers win
Just as much as the players talk about Coach McFarlin's intensity on the court, they also talk about the memorable moments he's created.

COALINGA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The hardwood at Coalinga High has felt devastating losses and triumphant wins.

Teams have come and gone, but one thing has remained the same.

"I spend a ton of time here, obviously," Coalinga High Varsity boys basketball head coach Jason McFarlin said.

He's spent a total of 20 years at the varsity level. His first year at the helm was back in 2001.

He's got the yearbooks to prove it.

McFarlin says what made him want the position in the first place is the same thing that brings him back year after year.

"Trying to make a difference," McFarlin said.

He's coached hundreds of players and several sets of siblings, years apart, like Jay and Jasmit Briana and Brett and Troy Arce.

He may come off as easy-going and even-keeled amongst his memorabilia, but just ask some of his current or former players about his demeanor on the court.

"Once the game starts, he flips that switch," former player and current assistant coach Santiago Melendez said.

Coalinga HS basketball coach congraulated on reaching 300 wins

It doesn't matter what year they played, many of them describe him with the same word: passionate.

But just as much as the players talk about Coach McFarlin's intensity on the court, they also talk about the memorable moments he's created.

Like when Garrett Price got injured and was going to be out the rest of the season.

"He made me a captain, he made it kind of a big deal that it was my last game," Price, a member of the Class of 2020 said.

Or when having to depend on the school bus to and from his home in Huron would've prevented Val Ibarra from playing.

"He would drive to pick us up and bring us to practice," Ibarra, a member of the class of 2002, said.

Or when Blake Wong played the best half of his life and hit multiple threes.

"Like, that's more hyped up than I've ever seen anyone like get for me in my life," Wong, a member of the class of 2017 said.

But, last month, the tables turned, making a memorable moment for coach himself -- a celebration marking his 300th career win as varsity boys basketball coach.

"You talk about the number of wins or whatever, and then it's probably way more important is how many relationships I've built," McFarlin said.

Those relationships easy to see as we reached out to more than a dozen of his current and former players, asking if they had anything they wanted to say about the special occasion.

And then showed Coach McFarlin their responses.

Through tears, McFarlin said hearing from his players brings him a sense of validation.

"You don't know if you're accomplishing your goals or not, but that - that really kind of says I am," McFarlin said.

He doesn't know how many years he has left as head coach, but he knows how he plans to spend them.

"Being respectful to people, being disciplined, being intense and then you can achieve excellence if you do those thing on everything you do. I think we did that, have done that and will continue to do it," McFarlin said.

The current boy's basketball team is headed into the semi-final rounds of the playoffs.

They are the number one seed in Division V.

Coach McFarlin says he would love to bring home a section championship.

It would be the first one in Coalinga High School history for varsity boys basketball.

You can watch them play against Rosamond on Tuesday, February 20, at Coalinga High School.

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