Coach Farist- Head Boys Coach
Coach Farist is entering his third season as a basketball coach here at River Ridge. This will be his second as the head coach. He is thankful for the opportunity to coach these young men, and hope they grow both as players and adults during their time on the basketball team.
Coach Farist has lived in Cherokee County his whole life and attended Sequoyah High School. He attended North Greenville University in South Carolina where he received an athletic scholarship for football. While he is not coaching, Coach Farist enjoys getting to play golf, and during the winter deer hunting.
Coach Farist and his wife are members of Woodstock City Church which is located right behind the Outlet Shops. He is forever thankful for what Jesus Christ did for him, and hopes his coaching style reflects that same love.
Coach Farist teaches AP US History and Economics here at River Ridge, and his wife teaches in the English department.
Coach Farist recently got married to his beautiful bride Amanda in March of 2015. He is very thankful for her support throughout the year, and also how she cares for each player like they are her own.
Coach Pinckard- Varsity Asst.
Coach Brett Pinckard is joining River Ridge for his first season as the Varsity Assistant. He joins us from Etowah High School where he served as a Varsity Assistant for nine years. Coach Pinckard is also an alum of Etowah High School where he was a three year lettermen in basketball graduating in 2003 after two trips into the Georgia State tournament including an appearance in the Sweet 16.
Coach Pinckard graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2007 with a degree in Secondary Biology Education, and currently teaches Biology and Anatomy at River Ridge. He also holds a Master’s in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University.
Coach Pinckard is a proud husband and father to his three beautiful children who he loves spending time with. He and his wife, Lindsey, have been married since May of 2007 and have been together since their own high school days. They have three children Benjamin (6), Lily (3), and Asher (1).
Coach Runion- Assistant Coach
Coach Runion enters his 2nd year with the River Ridge Basketball program. He assists in every capacity and at each level. Runion is a graduate of Auburn University where he earned a B.B.A. in Accounting and holds a Master’s of Education from Liberty University.
Coach Runion is also a baseball coach here at River Ridge. Runion played professional baseball in the Texas Rangers organization for 6 years after being drafted out of high school. Upon the conclusion of his baseball career, Runion entertained offers to play college basketball, but elected to focus on his collegiate studies. Post-graduation, he practiced taxation with a mid-sized CPA firm in metro Atlanta, but always felt called to coach. Runion has been at River Ridge High School for 4 years.
Runion enjoys spending time with his family and coaching his sons in basketball, football and baseball. He lives in Canton, GA with his wife Shay and his two boys Zeb and Eason.
Coach Davis- Head JV Coach/Varsity Asst
This is Coach Davis’s fourth year teaching and coaching at River Ridge. Prior to River Ridge, Coach Davis was at Bleckley County High School in Cochran, GA serving as the girls assistant coach for 1 season, varsity boys assistant for 2, and serving as head coach of the boys JV team the last 2 years. While at Bleckley County, the varsity boys made 2 trips to the state playoffs and advancing to the 2nd round in the 2011-2012 season. Coach Davis is originally from Warner Robins and attended college at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. He’s happily married to wife, Amy, since July of 2010, and in June of 2014 they welcomed their first child, daughter Stella. Additionally, Coach Davis teaches Government and US History.
Coach Belli- Head Freshman Coach/ Varsity Asst
This is Coach Belli’s second year at River Ridge and third year with the basketball program. He is the head freshman coach as well as a varsity assistant. Coach Belli started his college career at North Greenville University on a basketball scholarship and eventually ended up at Kennesaw State University. After numerous knee injuries, he hung up his jersey and focused on his degree. He currently holds a Bachelor degree in Mathematics as well as a teaching certificate for high school math. Coach Belli is also the head boys’ volleyball coach at The Ridge.
Coach Belli teacher Honors Accelerated Precalculus and has a passion for teaching students problem solving skills in and out of the classroom.
The game of basketball has always been a love of Coach Belli’s, ever sense a young age. Playing college basketball was always his dream and when injuries set him back, he did not want to leave the sport. Coaching was a way to stay involved while helping young men grow in their faith as well as in the game. Basketball paved a pathway to gain a degree as well as life skills and lifelong friendships. He wants to share this with young men so one day, it could change their lives, just as it changed his.
Coach Belli is married to Chelsea Belli, one of the Varsity Basketball Cheer coaches and Mill Creek Middle School math teacher. They were married on Pi Day, March 14th, perfect for two math teachers who met in math class. They enjoys the outdoors, spending most of their free time at the lake.