Brenda Beckwith was the girls basketball coach at Winslow High School 25 years ago and is looking forward to returning as the head coach this winter after Lindsey Withee resigned as the result of a work promotion.
Withee guided the Winslow girls to their first Class B state championship since 2005 this past season. It was her sixth year at Winslow.
Benton native and former Lawrence High of Fairfield All-State basketball player Beckwith was the Winslow freshman boys basketball coach and the assistant Winslow High varsity boys coach under Ken Lindlof.
“I am excited,” said the 59-year-old Beckwith, who has coached the girls middle school basketball team in Winslow and been a physical education teacher at Winslow High for 31 years.
“I am inheriting a good program. One thing that has been pretty prevalent in the Winslow sports community is the work ethic of the kids. They have a passion for competing. That’s something you can’t teach,” Beckwith said.
Withee said she is leaving the program in very good hands.
“Brenda has helped me out personally and as a coach,” Withee said. “She has been a mentor for me, this past year especially. She taught me a lot of things.”
“She has a lot to offer these girls. They’re very lucky to have her,” Withee added.
Beckwith, who is also a girls basketball broadcast analyst, said she has some big shoes to fill.
“Lindsey did a real good job. She’s leaving coaching on a good note. She won a state as a coach and a player (at Nokomis High of Newport), and that puts you in a stratosphere,” Beckwith said.
Withee stepped down because she got promoted from specialist to manager at Jobs for Maine’s Graduates.
“I had been working in the classroom but now I’ll be traveling, and I’ll have to be available during and after school hours,” said the 33-year-old Withee, who will oversee specialists at 13 different middle schools and high schools.
The former Lindsey Welch, who won a Class A state championship as a player at Nokomis in 2001, said she already misses coaching. Her husband, Josh, was one of her assistants.
“It has already hit me this summer. It’s a little tough but, with this job, I know I can reach out to more students this way,” she said.
She said she and her husband would also like to start a family. Withee said she hopes to return to coaching someday.
Beckwith has had an impressive coaching career. She coached the Winslow High School girls to four Class B field hockey state championships and was inducted into the Maine Field Hockey Association Hall of Fame in 2008.
In five years as the girls basketball coach at Messalonskee High School in Oakland, she compiled a 70-33 record, and led her Eagles to an Eastern Maine Class A title in 2009 and two other appearances in a regional final.
She is being inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in August.
Beckwith, who is traveling the country with son Cal and is currently in California, said one of the primary reasons she applied for the job was encouragement from her daughter, Maddie.
Maddie Beckwith is a field hockey player at Winslow and has been a cheerleader in the winter. She will be a senior this year.
“Maddie said she would come back and play basketball if I was the coach,” Brenda Beckwith said. “I’m very excited about coaching my daughter.”
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