Inducted in 2005
William Folsom
Born on July 5, 1927 in Augusta, Maine
Cony High School, 1945
Portland Junior College, 1949
Springfield College, 1953

William F. "Bill" Folsom spent much of his athletic career looking up at bigger opponents. But by the time he retired as Director of Athletics at Westbrook High School in 1987, Folsom was a man to whom others looked up to.

Not quite 5 feet 8 inches tall, Folsom weighed 140 pounds when he won letters in football, basketball, baseball and track at Cony High in Augusta. He graduated in 1945.

Folsom observed his 18th birthday aboard a US. Navy seaplane tender bound for the Philippines where he was assigned to a water-supply group with the Seabees.

At Portland Junior College, he lettered in basketball and tennis and several years and 20 pounds later, lettered in basketball and baseball at Springfield College, Class of 1953.

After military service and college, Folsom found his niche. In 27 years as a basketball coach, Folsom compiled one of Maine's best records. In 8 seasons at Orono High, 1953-1961, followed by 19 at Westbrook, 1961-1980, his teams won 392 games and four state championships.

Folsom's teams were noted for full-court pressure and man-to-man defense. In the lexicon of the gymnasium, he "was a player's coach."

A meticulous planner, Folsom was not "a control freak" but teams he coached bore his personal stamp in more ways than an up-tempo style.

In an era when long hair was popular, Folsom's players had to conform to short cuts - one inch above the collar.

Westbrook qualified for the Western Maine Tournament in 14 consecutive seasons. The Blue Blazes narrowly missed a state title in 1969, losing to Caribou on a half-court shot at the buzzer. That season, led by Matt Donahue, Westbrook easily won the Western Maine championship, but lost a stunner on a 40-foot basket by Mike Thurston as time expired.

Although his team missed the championship, Folsom became the only Maine coach ever named basketball coach of the year for District I (New England) by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

Three years later, Westbrook won the state Class A gold ball, beating Folsom's alma mater, Cony High, in double-overtime. Another state title followed in 1975 with a win against Caribou. When Folsom retired from coaching after 19 seasons at Westbrook, his coaching record in basketball was 273-135. At Orono, his eight-year mark was 119-42, an overall mark of 392-177.

At Orono, a team coached by Folsom won the state Class B football championship. The Riots won two Class B basketball titles.

In 1980, Folsom succeeded Walter Hansen as Director of Athletics at Westbrook. He retired in 1987 at the age of 59.

Folsom wrote in his retirement letter, "It is my sincere wish that the quality athletic program which has been accepted at Westbrook as an integral part of our educational system will long continue."

Bill is married to Shirlee and the father of two children, Mark and Jonathan.

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The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.

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