WASHBURN, Maine — Randy Norsworthy, who guided the Washburn boys basketball team to eight consecutive Class D tournament appearances, is stepping down after nine years as the head coach.
Norsworthy, 59, cited family and job reasons for his decision. He is the owner of North County Auto, which has locations in Presque Isle, Houlton and Lincoln, and recently added a fourth dealership in Biddeford.
“That definitely was a piece of the puzzle,” he said. “The requirement when you’re a high school basketball coach is you’ve got practice five or six nights a week and there’s three months or so out of the year when your schedule is not very flexible.
“That created a few issues for me last winter, but then again I’ve got six grandchildren now and some of them are getting up into that 9- or 10-year-old range where they’re playing athletics and have other events. I hate to say it, but I’m going to turn 60 this fall. And I don’t know if I’m over the hill yet, but I’m kind of feeling the time is right for me.”
Norsworthy earned second-team Bangor Daily News All-Maine honors at Presque Isle High School in 1975, then served for seven seasons as the boys junior varsity coach at his alma mater, including several years under the late Butch Shaw. He also coached at Northern Maine Community College for four years before taking over at Washburn in the 2007-08 season.
Norsworthy inherited a program that had graduated nine seniors, and while the Beavers finished just 2-16 in his first season, that was the last time Washburn failed to qualify for postseason play under his tutelage.
“It was a character-builder that first year; we didn’t have a lot of talent,” he said. “But over the years with Jordan McLaughlin and Mitch Worcester and this year with Jarrett Olson, we’ve had very dedicated young players who really made the job quite easy on my part.”
Washburn won at least 14 regular-season games in each of Norsworthy’s final six years and reached the 2015 Eastern Maine Class D championship game.
“It was an amazing situation for me in Washburn, a great fit,” said Norsworthy. “It was a small community, and I had great relationships with parents and a lot of great players over the last nine years. The administration was great to me. It was a great experience.”
The Beavers finished 15-5 last winter, advancing to the Class D North semifinals before being ousted by top-ranked and eventual regional champion Easton 52-48 in overtime.
“This year’s seniors were 62-10 during the regular season over their four years, and the last eight seasons we always made postseason play, so we really had a successful run,” said Norsworthy, who compiled a 122-56 record at Washburn that included a 114-27 mark over the last seven seasons.
“The unfortunate thing was there were no Eastern Maine championships or state gold balls, but we really did very well the last six or seven years.”
State’s athletic directors honored
South Portland’s Todd Livingston has been named recipient of the 2016 Robert Lahey Athletic Administrator of the Year award by the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Livingston has led the athletic department at his alma mater since October 2011 after stints as athletic director at Falmouth High School for five years and as assistant AD at Greely High School in Cumberland Center for four years.
Livingston was a three-sport standout at South Portland before going on to the University of Maine, where he was an infielder on the baseball team.
Before getting into athletic administration, Livingston was head baseball coach at Massabesic High School of Waterboro and Cheverus High School in Portland.
Others honored during the MIAAA’s recent annual spring conference at the Samoset Resort in Rockport were the following:
Craig Sickels, Freeport High School: Martin E. Ryan, CMAA, Award of Excellence; Alfred “Bunky” Dow, Mount Desert Island High School of Bar Harbor: Gerald Durgin Award for Excellence in Leadership; Jason Fuller of Lewiston High School: NIAAA State Award of Merit;
Susan Robbins, Yarmouth High School: Thomas E. Frederick Award of Excellence; Tom Chard, Portland Press Herald (retired): MIAAA Print Media Award; Dave Eid, WGME-TV: MIAAA Electronic Media Award; Bob Philbrick, Gorham: MIAAA Distinguished Service Award (local level);
Mike Haley, former administrator, official, coach and director for the Maine Shrine football program: Lawrence LaBrie MIAAA Distinguished Service Award (statewide); Rich Drummond, Windham High School: MIAAA Past Presidents Memorial Special Achievement Award.