Millikan Hires Mark Fancher As Basketball Coach

Millikan high school has found a new boys’ basketball coach, as athletic director Kevin Marchael announced late last week that the Rams have hired Mark Fancher.

Fancher takes over from Chris Francis, who resigned abruptly with a week left in the regular season.

“I’m a local guy, I live in Long Beach, I heard through the grapevine that there was going to be an opening and I was excited about it,” said Fancher. “I think we definitely have an opportunity to be competitive in Division 2A and we want to be one of the teams vying for a Moore League championship.”

Fancher has been a teacher in the past but the East Long Beach resident will be a walk-on coach at Millikan, although both he and Marchael said he will have an every-day presence on campus.

Francis leaves big shoes to fill, having taken over a Millikan team that was 4-22 and going 82-52 the last five seasons, including three 20-win seasons and a CIF semifinals appearance in 2014.

The Rams are coming off a disappointing season finishing 10-17 overall.

“Doing the eyeball test I think we’ve got some promising kids,” said Fancher.

Fancher had a successful run at Rolling Hills Prep as an assistant and as a head coach, leading the Huskies to a 20-7 season in 2011-12 and then a 22-9 season in 2012-13 that included a Division 5A CIF championship; Fancher was named the Division 5A CIF Coach of the Year for that effort.

The following season the Huskies went 13-13 and Fancher hasn’t been the head coach of a high school since, but has been coaching travel ball with the Frogg All-Stars, running a program primarily made up of Long Beach kids.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.