After a 18-8 season culminating in a 5th-place state finish, the Blaine girls’ basketball team is losing someone special.
Borderite head coach Jeremy Hinchey has decided to retire and focus on family. His wife is having a second child, and the coach has opted to spend more time being a husband and a father.
Hinchey is leaving on top in terms of his career. After eight years with the program, five as head coach, he notched his best season ever in 2011-2012.
The girls’ stunning season followed a 4-16 campaign in 2010-2012, and his role in the turnaround earned him the All Northwest Conference Coach of the Year award as well as the All Whatcom County Coach of the Year award.
After such a season, Hinchey expects his shoes to be filled relatively quickly.
“I think there will be a lot of interest in the job,” Hinchey said. “This is going to be a really fun team to watch over the next few years.”
The 2011-2012 squad only lost three seniors and returns seven players, including three freshman and four sophomores.
“They have a lot more experience than most players their age,” Hinchey said. “I think they will be very good, and dropping down to 1A will only make them better.”
Hinchey said he enjoyed all of the coaching.
“The players always worked hard,” he said. “It was satisfying to see all their hard work pay off. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, and I loved every minute of it.”
Despite the rewards of coaching, Hinchey doesn’t plan on returning anytime soon.
“Maybe some little league when my daughter gets old enough,” he said.
He was able to talk to the team one last time before he left. He gave them one final message: “Go win state!”
Above, right: Blaine head girls’ basketball coach Jeremy Hinchey gives his team a pep talk during a February 25 conference game against Olympic High School. The Borderites went on to win the game, propelling them into the state 2A quarterfinals, a first for the entire squad. File photo by Janell Kortlever.