Lindsey Welch played in two NCAA Women’s Division III Basketball Final Fours when she was at the University of Southern Maine. That included an appearance in an NCAA championship game in Springfield, Mass.
But she said the excitement at a Final Four pales in comparison to playing in the Eastern Maine basketball tournament at the Bangor Auditorium.
And she is hoping to make several trips to the auditorium with her new team, the Winslow High School Black Raiders.
The 27-year-old Welch, who helped her Nokomis High School Warriors capture the state Class A championship in 2001 and reach the state final in 2003, was named to replace Tom Nadeau as the Winslow girls basketball coach last week.
Nadeau went 76-40 in his six seasons including a 10-9 mark this past season. The Raiders made the postseason in all six of his years.
“We’re very excited to have Lindsey on board,” said Winslow High athletic director Carrie Larrabee. “She has a lot to offer the girls from a player’s perspective as well as a coach’s perspective.”
Larrabee said Welch was chosen from a “strong pool of applicants” by the search committee.
Welch had served as the freshman coach and assistant varsity coach at Nokomis this past winter after serving in a similar capacity at Westbrook High School. She began her coaching career as an assistant at USM.
“I’m very excited. I’ve got some big shoes to fill. Tom did a wonderful job,” said Welch.
Welch feels she has paid her dues and said “I’m ready to be on my own.
“I’m ready to be a varsity coach and I feel very fortunate that Winslow has taken a chance on me. I’m glad they took the chance,” said Welch.
She will inherit a team that will have lost three prominent players to graduation but will return seven players who will be sophomores and four who will be seniors.
She will implement several of the ideologies she learned from her former Nokomis coach Earl Anderson.
That includes a strong focus on team defense and conditioning.
“We’ll be a fast, up-tempo team that will like to push the ball up the floor,” said Welch.
She has met her future players and received a very positive first impression.
“The veterans are already stepping up. They want to do everything they can to help out,” said Welch.
Welch plans to establish long-term goals and one is to make the Bangor Auditorium a regular destination.
“Nothing compares to playing at the Bangor Auditorium. It is, by far, the best feeling I’ve ever experienced,” said Welch.
Larrabee also said Winslow has hired a new boys soccer coach in Aaron Wolfe.
Wolfe actually takes over for Larrabee, who had coached the team the past three seasons and led them to an 11-3 mark last fall. They made the playoffs all three years.
“I’m pregnant with my third child and the child is due in October,” said Larrabee. “Aaron has coached soccer for five years at the junior high and he has been our assistant varsity baseball coach the past two seasons. I think he’ll do a great job with the program.”