In January, the spotlight at Frenchtown High School turned away from the court and onto Libby boys’ basketball coach Wally Winslow before the Loggers’ Northwestern A matchup with the Broncs. Frenchtown coach Michael Botsford paid tribute to one of the league’s long-time leaders who planned to retire at season’s end.
“I look up to him,” Botsford said. “It’s the good one’s like that that you love coaching against.”
Botsford, who has coached against Winslow in some capacity for a decade-plus, presented the 16-year Loggers’ coach with a trophy before the road crowd roared and cheered.
“The thing about us as coaches is we work hard, but this is supposed to be about the kids,” a touched and slightly embarrassed Winslow said after the game. “We’re just old and we still get a chance to be a part of it by being on the bench and coaching.
“I don’t like to get that kind of attention drawn to me, but what are you going to do about it – very kind, very kind.”
Winslow, who also coached football at the high school and America Legion baseball in the summers, guided Libby to its first State A championship since 1966 in 2004 with a triple-overtime thriller over Belgrade, 96-89.
He still loves coaching, he said, but his daughter is hitting high school next year and it’s time to redirect his energies to her.
He can’t put in the hours with his Loggers and still be a good dad, the high school geometry, chemistry and physics teacher said.
“I’m not going to short change either one,” he promised.