After nine years of coaching boys basketball, Glenn Billings has decided it’s time to retire. He has had a very successful career, with a 131-48 record and having brought his teams to the Bangor Auditorium seven of those years. We made it to the Eastern Maine finals three times and the highlight was the undefeated State Championship team in 2007. He feels he has been fortunate to coach many top athletes over these years.
With so many good memories, he has a hard time to pick a favorite one. The perfect season of 2007 was a great feat, but he also feels that coaching his son on a team that went to the Eastern Maine finals in 2006 and the recent team that went to the Eastern Maine finals in 2012 was also special. There were teams that weren’t as successful, but the players worked hard and gave him as much effort as the more talented teams.
It had always been a dream for Glenn to be involved in the tournament atmosphere as he never made it to Bangor Auditorium as a player. He enjoyed that atmosphere every time he was able to. He also got to know many of the other successful coaches from around Eastern Maine and was surprised at how supportive and friendly they were with him and treated their players as young men despite their fierce competitiveness.
The ultimate goal of a coach beyond winning is to help guide players to be a superior people, win or lose. Working with your teammates and dealing with the losses along with the wins in a positive way is an important life lesson. Glenn feels that as school teams go, we elevated our team image to that of a school that was respected by the referees for our positive attitude and sportsmanship.
He believes that coaching is about the players and building their esteem. He always tried to work with players who struggled with school as some needed the sport to keep focused on graduation. He has enjoyed catching up with former players when they come back and watch them move on to have further success in life.
What finally caught up to him is the work it takes to be a successful coach. Long cold bus rides, long practices from mid-November to (hopefully) early March. He also spent a lot of time working on strategy all through the season to get the best out of his players and prepare for important games. Then there is the summer program and clinics to further develop skills and team camaraderie.
He will be missed on the sidelines by the fans and more so by me, as I develop a close relationship with the coaches and rely on their input to be able to write my column. It has been a pleasure to follow the success that Glenn has been able to direct over the years.
Now comes the tough task of finding a new coach, sooner rather than later, to orchestrate the summer program. Athletic Director Matt Larsen is in the process of looking at prospective candidates to pick a new coach.