‘Supportive’ Faust to leave behind Harp Dogs, track legacy

Smiles, listeners, and friends are always something that Bearden’s Coach Barry Faust has encountered as he walks through the halls, teaches, and coaches. After 10 years at Bearden as a P.E. teacher, coach, and club sponsor, Coach Faust will retire at the end of the year. “I’ve always worked,” he said. “I’ll miss the kids.” A major component of Bearden’s track team, he coaches sprints, hurdles, and occasionally relays, as well as jumping events like long jump, high jump, and triple jump. “As a coach, he is always really supportive,” sophomore Joanna Logan said. “He is the coach you can go to for anything, and you know he’s not going to be mad and will tell you the truth. “But as a teacher he is really entertaining, yet he still interacts with the kids and really takes the time to get to know them." In addition to his role with Bearden’s athletic department, Coach Faust sponsors the Harp Dogs. Members play and are taught how to play harmonica, acoustic guitar, and other instruments. Occasionally the club will perform local gigs around Knoxville. “I learned how to play guitar and harmonica from Faust,” Harp Dogs president and senior Jimmy Weir said. “I learned not to care how you sound and just play.” The club meets in the pit on Wednesdays at 3:45. They begin meeting around the third week of school and continue until about the second week of February when the track season begins. An avid traveler, Coach Faust takes what he learns from other cultures and brings it into the classroom. “If I can find some of the good in another culture – something that I like, something that’s effective, something that will help people get along, help relationships with themselves and others, something that is very unselfish and giving – I will always incorporate into my teachings,” Coach Faust said. With Cherokee and Blackfoot Native American blood in his family, he also brings his heritage into the classroom. “Indian blood is just in me, you know?” he said. “It’s not like Gatorade; you can’t just buy it and drink it, it’s just in there.” Coach Faust graduated college in 1970, and has taught for around 35 years in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Tennessee. He has also been coaching track since around 1970 even when not teaching. “I purposefully don’t remember everything,” Coach Faust said. Although this is Coach Faust’s last year as a teacher, his memory and teachings will live on through his students who have learned from his easy-going free spirit. “If we would take the time to see through the eyes of our brothers and sisters, the world would look different, and I think we would understand the world, the planet, ourselves, and everything else and we could all get along a little easier,” Coach Faust said. Brooke Williams is a staff writer for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.