By Tom Robinson
JB Hoops alum Kirk Fallon has resigned after a short, but successful, run as head girls basketball coach at Susquehanna.
Fallon leaves the coaching job at his alma mater, where he will remain as an elementary physical education teacher, to take a job at Lackawanna College where he will assist his cousin, Landon Gabriel, in resuming the men’s program after a year off.
Susquehanna was one of the five District 2 basketball teams – four from Lackawanna League girls – who had their state tournament runs end Thursday when the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association announced that it would be unable to complete the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship rounds because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Fallon, who also has experience as an assistant coach at Keystone College, said the chance to eventually move up in the college coaching ranks, along with working with Gabriel make the job appealing.
“It might be my last chance to give this coaching thing a real shot; coaching in college doesn’t come around very often,” Fallon said. “When, it’s your cousin and you’re going to be working with scholarship-level guys, there might be more opportunity down the road to coach at that level.
“I kind of figure, being 30 and without a family right now, I have a chance to really give it everything I have. Ten years from now, if I want to coach in college, there may not be an opportunity with where I’m at in life.”
Fallon will handle the logistics of living in Carbondale and traveling to Susquehanna, then Scranton on a daily basis in the winter, not to mention the team’s travels to New Jersey and northern Maryland for games.
Gabriel, who recently completed his coaching stint as the head of the boys team at Carbondale, accepted the position during the season, but finished up with the Chargers.
Fallon was leaning heavily toward taking Gabriel’s offer, but did not want to introduce that situation into the mix of a tournament run.
“I didn’t want to tell them before the season was over because I assumed we were going to make another run in the state tournament and the last thing we needed was more distractions,” Fallon said. “ … Landon is my cousin and one of my closest friends. When he got that job, I knew it was going to be hard not to accept (the assistant’s position).
“Our goal is to get guys to the (NCAA) Division II level, at least.”
They will be rebuilding the program from scratch after Lackawanna shut down men’s basketball in reaction to a disciplinary matter involving some team members.
Fallon was named NEPABasketball.com Lackawanna League Division 4 Coach of the Year in both seasons. His teams were 24-0 in divisional play, won District 2 Class A titles both years, won the District 2-11 Class A Subregional in 2019 and went 4-1 in state tournament games.