High schools

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Kristen McDonnell returns as Braintree girls’ basketball coach

Springfield MA 3/18/17 Braintree High Wamps head coach Kristen McDonnell reacting to an officials call against Springfield Central Golden Eagles during second half action of the 2017 MIAA Girls Division 1a State Finals at MassMutual Center. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff/File

Kristen McDonnell, who resigned from Braintree High in April, agreed Friday to return as the Wamps girls’ varsity basketball coach.

The “new” girls’ varsity basketball coach at Braintree High is a very familiar face.

Three months after submitting her resignation as head coach after eight stellar seasons — headlined by back-to-back Division 1 state titles in 2014-15 — Kristen McDonnell announced Friday afternoon she will return to the Wamps’ bench for the 2017-18 season.

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Interference from a few parents, playing time one of the main issues, had reached a boiling point, prompting McDonnell to step down with a “heavy heart.”

“I’ve done a lot of reflection over the last few months and I’ve learned many valuable lessons,” said McDonnell in a release.

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“Through those lessons, I’ve grown both personally and professionally and I’m extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to return to the Braintree sideline next year. I am committed to moving forward in a positive way and am incredibly excited about continuing to coach the great group of young women in our program.”

Braintree athletic director Mike Denise said “members of our girls’ basketball program and our community are fortunate to have Kristen return this winter. She has earned her reputation as a top basketball coach in the state and has been a veteran fixture with the exceptional coaching staff we have here at Braintree High School.

“Her leadership has been, and will continue to be instrumental in the individual growth and development of our female student-athletes within the girls’ basketball program.”

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A Boston Latin and Stonehill College graduate, McDonnell has guided the Wamps to South sectional titles five of the past six seasons. This year’s 21-5 squad advanced to the state final before falling to Springfield Central, 61-45.

Craig Larson can be reached at craig.larson@globe.com
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