Mike Webb got a late start in his high school basketball coaching career.
That’s because he spent 20 years refereeing.
The 55-year-old John Bapst High School of Bangor girls basketball coach is trying to make up for lost time and he reached an impressive milestone on Monday when he picked up his 200th victory as his Crusaders beat Bucksport 59-40.
“It you’re old enough, this might happen to you,” quipped Webb.
He acknowledged that it was a nice accomplishment especially because “I was kind of late to the game.”
Webb spent his first two seasons coaching the Hampden Academy girls, leading them to semifinal berths in the Eastern Maine Class A tournament each season.
Then he moved on to John Bapst where he is in his 15th season. His John Bapst girls have played in three Eastern Maine finals and two semifinals and they have made the tournament consistently.
John Bapst was in Class A his first two seasons before moving down to Class B where they still reside.
“I have been real fortunate to be at one place for so long. I’ve had some great kids. We’ve had only two or three down years,” said Webb.
Webb said he thoroughly enjoys coaching at John Bapst.
“I love it. I’ve been in the gym since I can remember,” said Webb. “The kids are so much fun to be around. I love the game.
“Officiating is more of an individual recognition. Coaching is so much more rewarding. Your players send you Christmas cards and come back to see you. You see them come in as freshmen and grow. You hope you can have a positive effect on their lives in some way and turn them into better people or basketball players or both,” said Webb.
Reaching the Eastern Maine Class B final as a seventh seed in the school’s first year in B and going back to the final the following year are two of the highlights that stand out for Webb. They also reached the semifinals and then made another appearance in the finals.
“We had a pretty good run,” said Webb, whose Crusaders are 8-5 entering a Friday night game against visiting Orono.