Brunswick High School boys basketball coach Todd Hanson reached a milestone this week, earning his 300th career victory as the Dragons scored a 47-40 victory at Yarmouth.
The Dover-Foxcroft native is in his 24th year at Brunswick, his only head coaching stop.
The 300th victory was just the latest basketball achievement for Hanson, who not only coached Brunswick to the 2002 Class A state title, but also played on a Class A state championship team at Waterville in 1985.
Hanson also is the younger half of the first father-son duo to both coach state championship teams. His dad, Skip Hanson, guided Foxcroft Academy to the 1975 Class B state crown. Roger Reed and his son, Mark, subsequently achieved the same accomplishment, with Mark Reed leading Hermon to the 2018 Class B state crown after Roger Reed won eight state titles at Bangor between 1993 and 2011.
“I have a strong feeling of gratitude to all the players who have suited up for the Dragons during my tenure,” said Hanson, who is a math teacher at the school. “We looked at our rosters and came up with 157 guys who’ve played for me over the years. We’ve had great kids who were willing to be coached and bought into our system, and I’m forever grateful to those guys for their belief in our team.”
Hanson played at both Piscataquis Community High School of Guilford and Waterville High, then went to the University of Maine. He returned to Waterville for stints as an assistant coach at Thomas College and Waterville.
“When the Brunswick job opened in the summer of 1996, I felt very prepared to become a head coach,” Hanson said. “I had the opportunity to learn from many great minds, including Ron Brown and Wally Russell at PCHS, Ken Lindlof at Waterville, and both Skip Chappelle and Rudy Keeling as a player at UMaine.”
Hanson said being able to coach under Lindlof — the current head coach at Winslow High School — for four seasons at Waterville High was pivotal preparation.
“Kenny really taught me how to run an entire program, including youth, middle school and all three levels of high school,” Hanson said. “I don’t think I’d have had nearly the success without those four years of learning from him.”
The Brunswick program had struggled before Hanson’s arrival, but he quickly led the team into postseason contention. That was highlighted by an undefeated run to the 2002 state championship behind star guard Ralph Mims, who went on to play at Florida State.
The Dragons have remained consistent postseason factors and have qualified for the tournament in 19 of the past 20 years.
Brunswick is 2-1 this season in Class A South after Friday’s 68-56 home victory over neighboring Mt. Ararat of Topsham.
“I considered Brunswick a great opportunity when I applied,” he said. “They had had a high rate of [coaching] turnover in their basketball program prior to me coming and were primarily known as a soccer school. I felt that with the quality of athletes they had and the type of community Brunswick is, if I could build a program from the bottom up, we’d have a chance to be successful.
“Combined with the tremendous community support, administrative support and parental support, I’ve been very lucky to have landed here and had an opportunity to teach and coach in this district as well as raise a family here.”
That support also includes experience and stability within the coaching staff. Fred Koerber, Dan Cooper and Jeremy Bate have all spent at least two decades working as assistants under Hanson.
“That type of continuity has played a huge role in our sustained success,” Hanson said. “Those guys have been loyal assistants throughout my tenure.”
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Todd Hanson and his father Skip Hanson were the only father-son duo to coach boys basketball teams to state titles. Roger Reed of Bangor High School and his son Mark Reed of Hermon High School also accomplished the feat.