In Chris Woodside’s first season coaching boys basketball at Calais High School, he guided his alma mater to a Class C state championship.
Fans of the John Bapst girls basketball program will hope that Woodside has the same type of magic touch with the Bangor-based Crusaders next season.
Woodside, who spent last season coaching the men’s team at Division III Shriner University in Kerrville, Texas, has been appointed as the Broadway private school’s new girls basketball coach.
Woodside, who recently returned to the area and accepted a job in the JMG program at Hermon High School, wasn’t too optimistic there would be any coaching jobs available.
“I didn’t expect anything to be open because I didn’t get back until May,” said Woodside, who will succeed Mike Webb, who was not retained for the position.
Webb had been on the Crusaders’ sideline for the last 15 seasons and his teams had reached two Class B East/North semifinals.
Woodside coached the Calais boys for two seasons before stepping down in 2016 to take on the new challenge of coaching at the collegiate level.
The success he had at Calais translated there just fine, as he led his Shriner team to a regular-season conference title, the first in program history.
“Some things changed back home with family that brought me back,” Woodside said. “I love to coach and that opportunity came up.”
Woodside decided to put his name in at John Bapst after learning the program was seeking a new head coach, and this will mark his first time coaching a girls squad.
He met with his new team on Thursday evening.
“They’re definitely a talented group,” he said. “I see a team that can compete. I think they’re excited and going to work hard.”
Woodside is a defense-first coach who hopes his team can generate offense from shutting down its opponents, the winning formula for many teams in always-deep Class B North.
“One thing I always tell our players is the five E’s: Energy, Effort, Enthusiasm, Execution and no Excuses,” Woodside said. “When you play that way, you’re controlling the controllables.”
Woodside is also eager for the new challenge of coaching a girls team for the first time.
“Last year my challenge was college coaching but now my message is [how I’m] going to relate to the girls,” he said.
He also hopes he can prepare his players for life outside of basketball.
“I never like to judge success on wins and losses,” Woodside said. “We’re trying to instill life lessons using basketball as a mode that will help our students long after the ball stops bouncing.”
John Bapst had a 12-8 record last winter.