In today’s paper, our very own Josh Thomson wrote a feature on long-time Rye girls basketball coach Mary Henwood, who has retired from coaching.
After coaching for 25 years, Henwood has accumulated a record of 336-185 and has won 10 league championship titles.
Here is a link to the story
And here is the story, pasted below:
All this time later, Rob Castagna still wonders whether he knows it all. Consider that Rye’s athletic director worked with Mary Henwood for 10 years before he found out she was a 1,000-point scorer at Hofstra.
“She’s very modest,” Castagna said. “She does a lot behind the scenes and doesn’t look for the credit. She’s done a lot for Section 1 girls. You wouldn’t know it. I still don’t know all the things she’s done.”
It is no mystery what Henwood has meant to Rye, especially its girls basketball program. After 25 years, 336 wins and 10 league championships, Henwood has retired from the post, one she first held at just 23 years of age.
“Here I am and it feels right,” she said. “It wasn’t any easier telling my girls though. I have a great group of underclassmen returning, but what I do know is it’s the right time and the right decision for me.”
Henwood felt a strong sense of closure after last week’s all-section dinner. The coaches association honored her and White Plains coach Sue Adams with lifetime achievement awards after two of the area’s most successful female coaches had announced their retirements.
Henwood was surprised by the honor, but the section’s longest-tenured coach, Irvington’s Gina Maher, felt the gesture was an appropriate one.
“She taught them that hard work pays off and the final score is less important than the path you take to get there,” Maher said in her introduction.
Beyond a 336-185 record, a run of nine straight league titles, seven sectional semifinal appearances and a trip to the Class B state final in 2004, Henwood promoted girls basketball at a time when the few voices who did amounted to a whisper. She was among those who pushed for the girls to play tournament games at the County Center and for the winners to receive gold ball trophies — just like the boys.
She still remembers her early teams playing key playoff games at neutral sites like Brewster and Edgemont, schools that had no connection to Rye or its opponents. She saw the need for change, and joined Maher and the likes of Isabel Costa, Brian Giorgis and Stan Koczka. Together they pushed for equality and eventually realized it.
“I just felt it was right,” Henwood said. “These girls are good. They should be showcased. They should be seen.”
Few females coaches across the section were more prominent in that than Henwood. In addition to her success on the basketball court, Henwood’s lacrosse teams at Rye went 173-91-10 and reached two state final fours in 17 seasons.
Henwood had been a gifted athlete at Eastchester High School, according to Koczka, her coach and mentor. She was the school’s first 1,000-point scorer and a defensive maestro, but she developed into a woman who inspired players and years later danced at their weddings.
“She was a late-bloomer in terms of figuring out who she was and what she wanted to do,” Koczka said. “When she did, she took off like a rocket.”
Henwood has landed for now. She once announced her retirement only to return just prior to the 2010-11 season. This time it is more definitive, although she doesn’t know what the future will hold this time. She has returned to coach modified lacrosse and wouldn’t rule out coaching lower-level basketball one day.
“I’ll feel my way through the winter next year, but in some capacity basketball will be in my life,” she said. “That might just be as a Garnet fan.”