Maine Basketball Hall of Fame will induct two County Coaches this summer.
BANGOR, Maine (WAGM) - The Maine Basketball Hall of Fame will induct 17 members into the Class of 2023. The Hall of Fame will also recognize 6 Legends of the Game and will honor two teams at the ceremony on August 20th.
Larry Gardner of Fort Fairfield and Jeff Hudson of Presque Isle are among the group of inductees.
Larry Gardner - a 1972 graduate of Fort Fairfield HS, Larry is the winningest coach in school history having guided both boys and girls varsity basketball teams to a combined record of 425 wins, one Eastern Maine Runner-up, three Eastern Maine Championships and a State Championship. Gardner coached boys varsity basketball for nine years and led them to their first and only Eastern Maine Basketball Championships in school history, and has coached the girls for the past 25 years, including a state title in 2010.
Jeff Hudson - Over the course of 28 years of coaching, Coach Hudson amassed an incredible 436 - 124 cumulative record. Jeff directed Limestone High School to an 81-16 record over 5 seasons before returning to his alma mater at Presque Isle High School for 23 seasons. The Wildcats won 4 Northern Maine Championships, as well as 3 State Championships in 2006, 2012, 2013. He also coached seven 1,000 point scorers during his career.
Here is the list and accomplishments of the rest of the honorees.
Margie Arnold - A standout basketball player and 1000 point scorer at Waterville Senior High School, Margie was named to the 1982 Bangor Daily News 2nd Team All State before continuing her career at the University of New Hampshire. In Durham, Arnold was a three year letter winner for the Wildcats, and was also a member of the UNH women’s soccer team her senior year.
Joanna Brown - Brown became the fourth Husky to earn Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division III All-American honors during the 1997-1998 season after garnering WBCA Honorable Mention All-American status the previous two campaigns. The 1998 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Player of the Year led Southern Maine to a record of 92-15, including four consecutive trips to the NCAA Division III tournament. She was also named Little East Player of the Year three times.
Paul Burnell - A standout player for Coach Bob Brown at South Portland High School, Paul was a two time Bangor Daily News All State player, earning 2nd team honors in 1979 and 1st team honors in 1980, leading the Red Riots to back to back Class A State Titles. Paul continued his career at Bentley College for two years before transferring to USM for his final 2 seasons. A top referee for the past 20 years, Burnell has officiated in 6 state finals as well as 10 regional final games.
Warren Caruso - Caruso has served as the head coach for the Husson men’s basketball program since 1999 and has led the Eagles to 14 conference championships and 14 NAIA/NCAA National Tournament appearances. Caruso has been named conference coach of the year six times and Maine State coach of the year three times. He has a career record of 525-249. He is the winningest coach in North Atlantic Conference history, and has served 35 years as both a head and assistant coach for the Eagles.
Scott Graffam - A Medomak Valley graduate, Coach Graffam has 413 wins over his 39 year career at Scarborough, Medomak Valley, and Oxford Hills High Schools. Scott was a 3 year letter winner for Colby College in the late 70′s, and was inducted into the Mid Coast Hall of Fame in 2019. His 2022 Vikings captured the Class AA Northern Regional Championship, as well as the 1994 Class A Western Maine Championship.
Todd Hanson - A 2nd Team Bangor Daily News All State player, Todd helped lead the Waterville Panthers to the 1985 Class A State Championship. A four year letter winner at the University of Maine, the point guard appeared in 85 games for the Black Bears. Hanson followed up his playing days winning 309 games in 25 years as head coach of the Brunswick Dragons, including the 2002 State Class A title and 2004 regional title. Hanson and his father Arthur “Skip” Hanson were the first father-son Coaching duo to win State Championships.
Randy Harris - Randy has coached over 750 games and accumulated 411 wins in 39 years, all at his alma mater of Lee Academy. A standout athlete in high school, Randy also played soccer, basketball, and baseball at Husson before heading home to teach and coach at Lee. His Pandas captured the 2011 Class C State Championship, as well as the Eastern Maine Regional title in 2012.
Mike McDevitt - One of the finest men’s basketball players to play for St. Joseph’s College, the Ellsworth native scored 1,381 points to go with 674 rebounds as a four year starter, and was named the Player of the Year after his senior season in the Western Maine Athletic Conference. In over 30 years as an NCAA Division 3 coach, Mike has compiled a record of 602 -210. He is in the top 10 of active Division 3 women’s coaches in wins.
Mike Murphy - Mike transitioned from an excellent playing career to an even more impressive coaching career. A 1978 Bangor Daily News First Team All State selection at Cheverus High School, Mike continued his career for two seasons at Merrimack College, and two at USM, earning All New England honors as a senior. He was elected to the school’s HOF in 2001. In his 40th year as a coach, Murphy spent 26 years at Westbrook HS, and the past 14 at Deering HS, winning 339 games.
Jamie Russell - In his 38th year of coaching both girls and boys, Jamie has 422 wins at Piscataquis Community HS, Penobscot Valley High School, and Central High School. He is also a noted historian on the game of basketball in the State of Maine. He has authored two books that detailed every current school in the state’s year-by-year basketball history since the 1961 expansion from three to four classes, and most recently the expansion to a fifth division.
Jonathan Stovall - A 1985 graduate of Cheverus High School, Jon was named 1st Team Bangor Daily News All State his senior year, leading the Stags to the regional semi-finals. An excellent student as well, he played at the University of Pennsylvania for two seasons, appearing in 46 games for the Quakers, averaging 15.3 ppg as a sophomore. Jon transferred to Boston College to compete in the Big East for his junior year, appearing in 12 games before a career ending injury.
Brud Stover - A stellar athlete at Morse High School, the 1953 graduate excelled in football, basketball, and baseball, and then went on to do the same at Bowdoin College. He became the first Polar Bear to break the 1,000 point barrier, finishing his career with 1,144 points, despite freshman not being allowed to compete at the varsity level during that time. Brud went on to become a respected basketball official for many years afterwards.
Christina Strong - A three sport star and 2 time BDN All State selection at Georges Valley High School, Strong was named the 1990 Portland Press Herald Athlete of the Year, as well as the Miss Basketball winner. She followed up her high school career at the University of Maine under Coach Joanne Palombo, earning 4 Varsity letters, as well as being the recipient of the Dean Smith Award, which goes to one male and one female student-athlete based on outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
Angie Suffridge - A 3 sport standout at York HS, she really excelled on the hardwood. Angie was named 2nd Team Bangor Daily News All State, as well as USA Today Honorable Mention in 1987, earning a full scholarship to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut. She finished her illustrious career with the Blue Devils ninth on Central’s all time career assist list, ninth on the single season assist list, and is tied for 2nd on the single game assist list.
Al Veneziano - Hired in 1987 at Madison High School, the thirty-five year veteran has accumulated 405 wins, including four regional championships for the Bulldogs. He was named the region’s National Federation of High School Sports’ coach of the year once, and in 2014 he was elected into the Thomas College athletic department’s Hall of Fame. In 2019, the gymnasium was named in honor of Veneziano. He started his coaching career as a student assistant under Dick Meader at Thomas College.
LEGENDS OF THE GAME -
Byron Bean - Coach Bean arrived at Livermore Falls High School in 1969 as the head coach of the girls basketball team. Over the course of his 14 year career, Bean Andies compiled an incredible record of 179-25, including seven Mountain Valley Conference titles, two Western Maine regional championships, and the 1976 Class B State Title with a thrilling 42-39 Double Overtime victory against Hermon High School.
Jack Cashman - The founder of the legendary men’s semi-pro team “Jack’s 5″, Cashman’s influence on the game of basketball was far reaching. An original member of the University of Maine Boosters club, Jack was also a board certified official in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, refereeing tournament games at the Old Bangor Auditorium in the 50′s and 60′s. He played a major role in the growth of youth basketball in the Old Town area, as well as creating summer leagues in the 1950′s for high school and college players
Bill Fiske - An outstanding all around athlete, and member of the inaugural Schenck High School Hall of Fame, Fiske went on to an excellent career at Southern Connecticut State University, scoring 1,250 points. After his playing days were over, Bill joined the women’s basketball coaching staff at West Virginia University, and was named co-coach of the Mountaineers in 1983. In his three seasons on the bench, West Virginia compiled a 49-39 record.
Jim Graffam - Jim’s basketball resume spans over 40 years and all levels of basketball in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Missouri. He started out as assistant men’s basketball coach and head baseball coach at St. Joseph’s College in Maine, later became head basketball coach at Westbrook College, and was named Maine’s collegiate coach of the year twice. He is in Southern Maine’s hall of fame as a player, and Westbrook College hall of fame as a basketball coach.
Arthur “Skip” Hanson - Following a tremendous playing career at Aroostook State Teachers College, Hanson began his coaching career at Higgins Classical Institute before returning to his alma mater, leading the Foxcroft Academy Ponies to an undefeated season in 1975, capturing the Class B State Title. Skip’s teams won 107 games before he transitioned to administration, serving on multiple MPA Basketball Committees as an athletic director, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent before retiring in 2011.
Bruce MacKinnon- Bruce had a terrific scholastic career, helping Morse High School win the 1962 State Class A title and being named First Team Bangor Daily News All State. Bruce went on to play at the University of Maine, graduating in 1966. He landed at Sanford High School teaching Physical Education and coaching the Boys basketball team from 1973 to 1985 amassing 125 coaching wins, before serving as Principal until retiring in 1993.
1975 Foxcroft Academy Boys Basketball Team - The Ponies brought the Gold Ball back to Dover-Foxcroft during an undefeated season, finishing the year with a perfect 22-0 record. They ran through the Eastern Region at the old Bangor Auditorium defeating Limestone, Van Buren and Orono. A week later, in front of a packed house at the Augusta Civic Center, Foxcroft defeated Medomak Valley 56-53 for the school’s only Class B State Basketball Championship.
1989 University of Southern Maine Mens Basketball Team - Led by Hall of Fame Coach Bob Brown and loaded with native Mainers, the 1988-89 Huskies compiled a 24-7 cumulative record on their way to capturing the school’s only Little East Conference Tournament Championship. They advanced all the way to the NCAA Division III Final Four joining Centre College of Danville, Kentucky, Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Trenton (NJ) State.
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