Coaching Notebook

Familiar Face to Head Gar-Field Girls' Hoops

By Stephen A. Norris
Washington Post staff writer
Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Gar-Field girls' basketball program tapped another link to its storied past when the school recently promoted assistant coach Sandra Goulet, a former player, to head coach.

Goulet played for Gar-Field under Coach Fred Milbert, and her teams went 89-11 from 1991 to 1995. The 5-foot-4 guard played at Shepherd College in West Virginia and for the past six years served as an assistant to Larry Baker.

"Everything has changed since I played," Goulet said. "There weren't as many schools, and kids couldn't transfer into specialty programs. There is a lot more parity in the district, but hopefully in a couple of years we can be competitive for the one or two spot in the Cardinal District."

Goulet has some work to do. Six seniors from last season's team have graduated; that group led Gar-Field to a 14-10 overall record (5-5 in the Cardinal), its best finish since the 2000-01 season. The lone returning starter is Amanda Peck (9.9 points per game and 53 three-pointers).

"It's going to be a challenge," Goulet said. "I am definitely accepting some big shoes to fill. I want to go back to the basics and have fun doing it."

As a player at Gar-Field, Goulet was known for her shooting and defense. Milbert -- now the activities director for Prince William County schools -- said he expected Goulet to become a coach someday.

"She played to win," Milbert said. "She was a competitor. She played hard, was smart, knew what to do, was a great shooter and she could defense the devil out of you. She was tenacious and smart. She had great ball-handling skills, was decisive and always made great decisions. She understands all components of the game."

Goulet is the fifth player Milbert coached at Gar-Field who has gone on to coach. Emily Faught (Hylton) is the only other one in the Prince William area. From 1989 to 2001, Gar-field won 11 district tournament titles and a state title in 1998.

Lawrence Resigns in Protest

Freedom girls' basketball coach Aubree Lawrence cited the controversy surrounding the school's principal as the "icing on the cake" that sealed her decision to accept the head coaching job at Churchill in Montgomery County.

Lawrence, who has been at Freedom since it opened in 2004, said she is leaving to protest the demotion of Freedom Principal Dorothy McCabe, who will remain in that position until July 1. McCabe has filed several grievances against the school system.

"It's primarily due to a lack of support our superintendent is showing for our principal and teachers," Lawrence said. "My theory is, if they can do it to her, they can do it to me, and I don't feel supported any longer.

"Dr. McCabe has been in the county for 20 years, she has been so loyal, and for them to be so quick to demote her -- to me it was hard to think about what I try to preach to my kids every day about loyalty and what it means to be a part of the team."

Lawrence takes over a Churchill team that won back-to-back Maryland 4A state titles in 2002 and 2003 under current athletic director Pat Fisher. The Bulldogs finished 12-12 last season.

At Freedom, Lawrence started the Holiday Classic, which expanded from four to eight teams this season and which Lawrence expects to continue next season. The Eagles improved from 1-22 in their inaugural season to 10-13 last year, and they bring back all but one player from the 2005-06 squad, including leading scorer Domonique Stroman (13.7 ppg).

"It's definitely the hardest decision I have had to make," Lawrence said. "I love my girls, and next year they will be very successful."

Coaching Comings and Goings

Kevin Brown has resigned as coach of the Hylton boys' basketball team to take over at Stafford County school Mountain View, which opened last fall. Brown, a graduate of North Stafford High, took over at Hylton in 2000 and led the Bulldogs to the Virginia AAA semifinals in 2004. . . .

Talia Lake, a two-time All-Met catcher at Woodbridge, will replace Willie Lemay as Osbourn Park softball coach. Lake has been Lemay's assistant coach in charge of pitchers and catchers since 2001. . . .

Gar-Field announced that Kristan Wiesner will take over from her father, Paul, as Gar-Field's swim coach.

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