Bilodeau Is New BHS Girls Basketball Coach
Aug 29, 2014 09:47AM ● Published by Kenneth Hamwey
Bulletin Sports Editor
Stacy Bilodeau led the Walpole High girls basketball team to nine consecutive tournament berths and a Division 2 State Championship during her 11-year tenure as the Rebels’ head coach. The Bulletin has learned that the 37-year-old veteran mentor, who last year was an assistant at Wheaton College, has decided to return to the high school ranks, where she’ll direct the Bellingham girls varsity, which won the Division 3 Central Mass. championship last winter and fell two points short on playing for a State title. Bilodeau’s overall record at Walpole was 168-74, a winning percentage of 69.4.
“We had five quality candidates,” said BHS Athletic Director Dennis Baker. “Stacy will be a great long-term fit for our program. She’s committed, dedicated and loyal. She brings the experience we’re looking for, and she had a superb track record at Walpole in the highly competitive Bay State League.”
Bilodeau was a BSL all-star in three sports at Walpole—soccer, basketball and softball. She earned a full scholarship to play soccer at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, where she competed as the Dukes’ goalie. As a sophomore, she was selected as the Player of the Year in the Colonial Athletic Association.
A sociology major, Bilodeau, who currently works as a sales executive for Nike, says she’s “super excited” about taking the coaching reins at Bellingham, and she’s fully aware of the talent she’ll be instructing.
“I know the team was very successful last winter, and I know it’s a hard-working, intense group,” she said. “I’m eager to work with them and help them to continue to grow as student-athletes. They obviously have confidence, but when I meet them when school resumes, I’ll stress that there’s always room to improve.”
Bilodeau (pictured above, right) replaces Dan Nagle, who coached at Bellingham for two years before heading to Worcester Academy, where he’ll coach the girls varsity and also teach history. In his two years at BHS, his teams qualified for tourney play twice. His career record at Bellingham was 33-12. Last winter, the Blackhawks defeated Millbury, Northbridge and Tyngsboro in the tourney for the Sectional crown before losing in the state semifinals to Hoosac Valley.
“I like to set goals and although we’ll focus on day-to-day and game-by-game situations, we want to strive to be champions at the Sectional and State levels,” Bilodeau said. “The sky’s the limit.”
Bilodeau, who guided Walpole to a State championship during the 2003-04 season, prefers an up-tempo offense and likes to press on defense. “It’s always a plus when you keep opponents on their heels,” she said. “I like being up-tempo and trying to beat our opposition down the court. We’ll press on defense, but that aspect of the game truly depends on whether you have the personnel.”
Bilodeau, who lives in Wrentham, is acutely aware of the success Bellingham achieved during the spring season, winning State titles in softball and baseball. She firmly believes those positives can be a spark for other programs to strive for additional success.
“I think the two state titles were fantastic, great for the school, the community and the parents and kids,” Bilodeau said. “I don’t look at trying to match those achievements as pressure. Pressure is looked at as a negative. The titles should be viewed as positives, possibly contagious because other teams will attempt to live up to those standards.”
Bilodeau’s first coaching experiences were as the junior varsity girls basketball coach at Walpole and as an assistant coach for the Boston College women’s soccer team. She became Walpole’s varsity girls coach in 2002, and in 2004 her squad defeated Hampshire Regional for the State crown.
The girls basketball program in Bellingham appears to be in good hands with the hiring of Bilodeau. As Baker says, “We’re fortunate to get a coach with her credentials, and I’m glad the program will be in good hands.”