Following a second six-year tenure as Bandys girls basketball coach, Beth Queen is stepping down.
Queen, who has spent 16 seasons as a player and coach at the school, said she knew before this past season started that it would be her last.
“That was part of my plan the whole time,” Queen said. “When I came back six years ago, the Bandys girls basketball program wasn’t very successful. I wanted to rebuild the program. At that time, it was my intention to stay six years.”
Queen coached the Trojans from 1998-2003 before leaving to spend time with her family
In her absence, Bandys struggled to compete, and won 49 percent of its games from 2003-06.
Returning to coach Bandys in 2007, Queen’s first two teams went 5-17 and 21-8, respectively.
During the five seasons that followed from 2008-12, the Lady Trojans never won less than 21 games.
As a player and coach, Queen’s record is 342-110, including a 231-103 mark as coach and 111-7 record as a player.
Despite her successes on the court, Queen said the Bandys area is what she appreciates the most.
“You could say my blood is green,” she said. “I did grow up in the Bandys community. The people at Bandys have always been wonderful to me, as a student, as a player and as a coach. I think the people in the Bandys community are just wonderful people. It is just a great place to be. It will always be a special place in my heart.”
Queen’s teams made the playoffs in each of her 12 seasons as coach, including four trips to the West Regionals (2001, 2010-12).
After trips in 2010 and 2011 to the West Regionals, Queen’s 2012 squad was poised to make a deep playoff run.
Behind seniors Jesse Story, Taylor Sigmon and Queen’s daughter, Chelsey, the Lady Trojans won a share of the Catawba Valley 2A title this season.
Bandys (28-3) made it back to the Western Regionals for a third-straight time, advancing to the finals before falling to eventual state runner-up Wilkes Central.
Dreams of a state title, Queen said, weren’t the sole focus of her program.
“I thought our community talked more about that than we did as a team,” Queen said. “Honestly, up until this year, we didn’t talk a lot about that. You didn’t hear me talk about that a lot. Obviously, when I coach, our goal is to win the game we are playing in at that point. We take it one game at a time. This year, we had a long run. We came close. We got close enough to actually talk about it. We came up a little short, but the kids gave me all the effort they had. I don’t regret it one bit.”
Queen said the hardest part of her departure will be leaving the returning players.
“It’s difficult leaving the juniors, sophomores and freshman that are there, but there are always going to be some kids you don’t want to leave,” Queen said. “You have to make that decision, and you have to go with it. I will be there to support them. Those kids know if they need anything from me, all they have to do is to come see me.”
Hanging up the whistle as the girls basketball coach, Queen will remain a teacher at Bandys and has also agreed to help current volleyball coach Randi Keith with the team next season.
Keith is expecting a baby during the Lady Trojans’ conference season in the fall.
The 44-year-old Queen said another run as Lady Trojans basketball coach is possible, but she’s focused on taking time away from the game she loves.
“You never say never, right?” Queen said. “At the present time, I do not see a return. You just never know what might happen. I’ll just play it by ear. My intentions are to be a spectator and enjoy the sport for a while.”