Two former varsity basketball coaches, Brenda Beckwith and Beth Staples, were the recipients of two top Maine Association of Basketball Coaches awards during the recent Maine McDonald’s basketball banquet at Husson University in Bangor.
Beckwith was presented the MABC’s Bob Brown Contributor Award while Staples received the MABC Media Award.
Beckwith, a Benton native, graduated from Lawrence High School of Fairfield in 1977 as the school’s first 1,000-point scorer. She went on to Temple (Texas) Junior College on a full basketball scholarship and as a sophomore was a team captain, led the team in scoring and was named a Texas junior college all-star.
Beckwith transferred to William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where in 1981 the team went 43-3 and captured the AIAW national championship. She earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching from William Penn and a master’s degree from Bemidji State University in Minnesota.
Beckwith returned to Maine to teach physical education and coach girls basketball at Winslow High School, where she led the Black Raiders to the 1993 Eastern Maine Class A championship game.
Beckwith also began a 10-year broadcasting career as a girls basketball analyst for WABI-TV, where she and former Bangor High School and University of Maine player Rita Sullivan became the first two women to broadcast a live tournament game. Beckwith also hosted an afternoon sports show, “Brenda’s Bunch,” on WZON-AM radio.
Beckwith returned to the sidelines as girls varsity basketball coach at Messalonskee High School in Oakland and guided the Eagles to three regional finals and one state championship game. She was named the MABC’s Class A girls basketball coach of the year in 2007.
Beckwith will be inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in August, and she currently coaches field hockey at Winslow Junior High School and is the freshman boys basketball coach at Winslow High School where she teaches physical education.
Staples is an award-winning sports broadcaster and former newspaper editor.
She is a graduate of Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield where she was a 1,000-point scorer and team captain in basketball who was named to the academic All-State team and was a Bangor Daily News All-Maine honorable mention selection.
She also captained the Huskies’ field hockey and softball teams and in 2012 was inducted into the MCI Athletic Hall of Fame.
Staples went on to Colby College where she helped the Mules win two New England Small College Athletic Conference championships in women’s basketball. She also was an All-New England honorable mention softball player at Colby and captained that team as a senior.
Staples coached girls basketball at Searsport District High School and guided the Vikings to four tournament appearances. She also coached the Searsport softball team to the 1993 Eastern Maine Class C championship.
Staples earned a psychology degree from Colby, then attained a journalism degree from the University of Maine as she transitioned into a career as a writer, editor and sports broadcaster.
She has worked as a high school and college basketball and softball analyst for WZON-AM and 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, earning two Maine Association of Broadcasters awards. Staples also has been honored by the Maine Press Association and New England Press Association for sports writing, health reporting and humor writing while working as an editor at Village Soup/The Republican Journal in Belfast.
Staples now works as a news writer and editor for the University of Maine’s Division of Marketing and Communications.
She serves on the MCI board of trustees and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame board of directors and also has served on the boards of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and the Maine Press Association.