Homecoming: Hernandez returns to McMahon as girls basketball coach

Photo of Scott Ericson

Chrys Hernandez is coming home.

Hernandez has been hired as the girls basketball coach at McMahon, taking over a program where she excelled as a xplayer.

“I am really excited for the chance to coach at McMahon,” Hernandez said. “I left Greenwich voluntarily to be with our new baby and focus on family, but I always knew I wasn’t done with coaching. I have only been away for a year but the stars kind of aligned and (McMahon athletic director John) Cross told me Derek (Sellers) left and the job was open. This is a storybook situation for me to go back to where it all started. I didn’t even start playing basketball until I got to McMahon.”

Hernandez replaces Sellers as the coach for the Senators.

McMahon has struggled in recent years, going 2-17 last season, 0-11 in 2021, 3-17 in 2020, 6-14 in 2019 and 3-17 in 2018.

McMahon won back-to-back FCIAC titles in 2003 and 2004 but has not appeared in a conference final since.

“I hope we can turn a program around that has a winning history,” Hernandez said. “Where McMahon is right now, we need to get the girls to understand it is a new staff and a new way of doing things, but also a staff that is excited to change the culture around the team.”

Chrys Hernandez knows how to turn around a once proud program. Greenwich was 3-17 the year before she took over in 2012. By the 2013-14 season, Greenwich was 17-7, qualifying for the FCIAC Tournament for the first time in more than a decade, making its first trip to the FCIAC semifinals since 1992 and first trip to the state tournament after a long time away.

Under Hernandez, Greenwich reached one CIAC Class LL Championship game, one Class LL semifinal and one FCIAC title game. She was named the FCIAC Coach of the Year in 2014.

Hernandez stepped down at the end of the 2021 season after 10 years coaching the Cardinals.

McMahon athletic director John Cross was a student at McMahon when Hernandez played there and said the decision to hire her was an easy one.

“Chrys is the perfect fit. She’s from Brien McMahon, she played here, coached here with Ed Faulkner and was a part of this program when it had a lot of success,” Cross said. “She took over in Greenwich and turned them into a winner. She’s from Norwalk and knows and understands the community. We are very excited to have her back as part of the McMahon family.”

As a player at McMahon, Chrys (Washington) Hernandez was an All-FCIAC center on the Senators’ team that reached the Class L state final in 2001. She was the lone senior on that team playing for Faulkner.

After playing at the University of Rhode Island, she served as an assistant coach at McMahon for three years under Faulkner before moving on to coach in college at Division III Manhattanville in Purchase, N.Y., and then taking the head job at Greenwich.

Hernandez said nobody has had more influence on her professionally than Faulkner.

“Faulkner is like my second dad,” Hernandez said. “He taught me as a player and as a coach the value of having a great work ethic. That you have to put in the work to get the results. Most of all, he taught me that coaching happens at practice and the games are for the players.”

Sericson@stamfordadvocate.com; @EricsonSports