July 29, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Briggs moves on to Winslow

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Jason Briggs is trading in his Waterville purple and white for Winslow black and orange.

Briggs, the longtime boys varsity basketball coach at Waterville Senior High School, resigned from his coaching job last week to accept the job of athletic director at Winslow High School. Briggs replaces Carrie Larrabee, who resigned as Winslow athletic director earlier this summer.

Moving into administation is something Briggs had considered for a while, he said, but he always decided against it. The Winslow opportunity was too good to pass up, however.

"The piece that kept me from pursuing it was the interaction with students, coaching and in the classroom," Briggs said.

"We're sad to lose (Briggs), but we're happy he has this opportunity," Waterville athletic director Heidi Bernier said. "Jason will do a great job at Winslow."

Briggs coached the Purple Panthers for 11 seasons, and last season was his most successful. Waterville enjoyed a 12-game winning streak and went 14-6 and reached the Eastern Class B quarterfinals.

"That's a super-talented group. Whoever comes in (as coach) is getting a good situation," Briggs said.

In 2011-12, Briggs coached Waterville to its first tournament appearance since 2004 and first winning season since 1999, earning Morning Sentinel Boys Basketball Coach of the Year honors. Building a strong youth basketball program was key, he said.

"It makes a difference when you have kids who are interested in playing at a young age," Briggs said.

Briggs met with the Purple Panthers on Friday to give them the news. He was set to coach his final game with Waterville on Monday night, in a summer league game.

Briggs, who started his new job at Winslow late last week, said he doesn't come to the Black Raiders with a list of goals or changes. Briggs would like to create a leadership program with student athletes, but other than that, says he's trying to connect with each of the coaches.

"Ultimately, the goal is just meeting everybody," Briggs said. "There's a lot of good things that go on here."

Bernier said she has no time table to higher Briggs's replacement.

"It's contingent on how quickly we get attractive candidates," Bernier said. "The program, Jason's brought it a respectability, so I'd like to think we'll have some good candidates. We want to get the right fit."

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242



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