Wimberly's exit from coaching not what she envisioned

Posted: June 9, 2012 at 5:13 am

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By Keith Peters Palo Alto Online Sports

It could have been an ending to any other school year for Pam Wimberly, who handed out some diplomas at Menlo-Atherton's graduation ceremony on Thursday and looked ahead to teaching summer school.

When Wimberly returns to school in the fall to resume her PE teaching duties, however, things will be very different.

For one, the 65-year-old Wimberly will not be standing on the basketball court for the first day of practice on November 1. After 42 years of coaching the girls' hoop team at M-A (she started in 1968-69 but missed two seasons), Wimberly will be a spectator for the first time.

That decision was made on June 1 when M-A Principal Matthew Zito informed Wimberly that her coaching career at the school was over.

"I will go on and teach my classes, and enjoy more things in life," she said. "I'm coming to grips with what happened."

What happened was, after two losing seasons, co-Athletic Directors Paul Snow and Steven Kryger, along with Zito, decided that Wimberly evidently had seen better days. Forget the fact she had compiled a won-loss record of 663-340 in her 42 years while becoming the third-winningest girls' hoop coach in California. Forget the fact she had won four Central Coast Section titles (1984, 1991, 1992 and 1993) or been runner-up six times. And forget that she missed the CCS playoffs only 10 times in 36 years since the section postseason began in 1977.

In 2001, Wimberly was named Girls' Basketball Coach of the Year by the California Coaches Association and was selected as one of 13 coaches honored with the Model Coach Award by the California Interscholastic Federation.

While no one wanted to state the obvious, going 10-16 this past season and 7-18 in 2010-11 while missing the CCS playoffs both times reportedly did not enamor Wimberly with a group of M-A parents who evidently wanted more. It was a clash of style over substance and the supposed weight of parental pressure apparently won out.

A statement released by Kryger said: "Pam accomplished many great feats over the course of her career and the M-A community is grateful for all that she did for hundreds of student-athletes. We feel this is the time to make the transition to a new head varsity coach for our girls' basketball program."

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Wimberly's exit from coaching not what she envisioned

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June 9th, 2012 at 5:13 am

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