Nomination Process


His coaching career spanned the years 1956 to 1976 at Plainfield High School, Weeks School in Vergennes and Winooski High School, winning over 200 games during his varsity career. In 1970, his Winooski High School Team was state runner-up, following that with three consecutive state championships in 1971, 1972, and 1973. He was co-coach of the year in 1968 and 1973 in the Northern Conference and VT Coach’s Association coach of the year in 1972.

Rene Blanchard

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He coached from 1966 to1989 at Mattawamkeag High School in Maine and at North Country Union High School. During his varsity tenure, his teams won over 250 games.
His Mattawamkeag teams were Eastern Maine runner-up in ‘68 and ‘69. At North Country, his teams made 15 consecutive play-off appearances, including a final four appearance in 1989. He is former VT-NH All-Star game coach and was the VBBCA Division 1 Coach of the Year in 1989. He is a member of the Lyndon State College Athletic Hall of Fame

Gerry Clifford

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He began coaching in 1976 at the sub-varsity level, becoming varsity coach in 1983 and has just completed his 34th year at Windsor High School. During those 26 years at varsity level, his teams have won over 300 games. They’ve won 5 MVL championships, made 10 final four appearances, 8 trips to the finals and won 4 state championships. He remains a very active member of the VBCA, is a former President, and presently the Vice President. He has greatly enriched the Windsor community for the better part of his adult life.

Harry Ladue

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He coached from 1971 to 2006 at St. Johnsbury Academy. During these 35 years, his teams won over 450 games, appearing in the final four 11 times, in the finals 6 times, and winning 3 championships. He is a member of the UVM Hall of Fame, VPA Hall of Fame, and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. He had numerous players who went on to have very successful college careers because of his preparation and dedication to excellence.

Layne Higgs

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He coached from 1968 to 2002 at Marian High School and at Spaulding High School in Barre. During his 27 years at the varsity level, his teams won over 400 games. He has led his teams to the final four six times, with Spaulding High School winning the state championship in 1994 and 2002. In 2008, he received the VT Coaching Achievement Award from the VT Sportswriters and Sportcasters Association. The Spaulding Boys Basketball Holiday tournament is named in his honor. Throughout his many years of camps, he greatly influenced the basketball youth of Barre.

Fran Pinard

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