BREWER, Maine — Ben Goodwin, who has coached the Orono boys basketball team to four straight postseason appearances, was appointed as the new boys varsity basketball coach at Brewer on Monday night.
The appointment came during a meeting of the Brewer school committee.
Goodwin replaces Clayton Blood, who opted not to return after guiding the Witches to a 14-4 regular season last winter, good for second place in the final Eastern Maine Class A Heal point ratings. Brewer subsequently was ousted by No. 10 Lawrence of Fairfield in the regional quarterfinals.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Goodwin, who works at Wight’s Sporting Goods and lives in his native Eddington. “It’s closer to home for me, it’s a chance to move up to Class A and there’s a good group of kids there, I’m told, so I’m excited to get going.”
Goodwin played collegiately at the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y., where he was a team captain for two years. During his junior year, he helped the Golden Knights reach the NCAA Division II Final Four. While he was a freshman and senior, St. Rose reached the Elite Eight.
He coached the Orono boys junior varsity for one year before taking over as the Red Riots’ varsity coach during the 2003-04 season.
Goodwin compiled a 54-58 record at Orono, including 54-54 in regular-season play.
The Red Riots competed in Class B during Goodwin’s first two seasons with the Red Riots and in Class C the last four years.
Orono reached the Eastern C preliminary round in 2006, and qualified for the regional quarterfinals each of the last three years.
During that most recent three-year span the Red Riots have gone 39-18 overall, finishing fifth in Eastern C in 2007 and fourth in the division each of the last two years.
Orono went 16-2 last winter before bowing to No. 5 Stearns of Millinocket in the regional quarterfinals.
“I had a great experience at Orono,” said Goodwin. “It was a difficult decision to leave because I had such great support from the school and [athletic administrator] Mike Archer.
“We made the tournament the last three seasons, but coming to Brewer is an opportunity to challenge myself as a coach and continue to build another program.”
Goodwin hopes to provide some stability within the Brewer program as its third head coach in as many years.
Mark Reed, now at Hermon, coached the Witches for eight seasons before Blood took over last year.
“It’s an opportunity to be closer to home, and it’s a place I don’t see myself leaving,” said Goodwin. “I’m where I want to be, and hopefully I’ll be there for a long time.”
Goodwin plans to meet with his new players in the next week or two in order to organize the summer basketball program.
Brewer is expected to return a solid nucleus next winter led by Dom Drake, Tyler and Ray Bessette and 6-foot-5 center Nate Carson.
“What I look for is good, hard-working kids,” said Goodwin. “Defense has always been a big part of what we’ve done at Orono, and I want to bring that philosophy to Brewer. Hopefully we’ll go after it every night and be able to go up and down the court and make it fun for the kids.”