Former Stearns coach, George Wentworth, is scheduled to be inducted,
posthumously, into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in a ceremony to
be held on September 19 at the University of Rhode Island, in Kingston, Rhode
Coach Wentworth's record while coaching Stearns High School was 478 wins to
153 losses, a great average against larger schools.
A graduate of East Maine Conference Seminary in Bucksport, Wentworth went on
to play baseball at Notre Dame. As an avid tennis player and golfer, George was
known for long speeches, as anyone who asked him to speak at banquets or other
functions soon learned.
Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Wentworth spent a year as a student teacher
in Indiana. Moving back to Maine, he spent four years at Lawrence High School in
Fairfield before moving to Millinocket for the remainder of his career, coaching
baseball, football, and basketball.
"That was an experience, coming to this town," Wentworth once said of
Millinocket. "Back then, the town was divided up into four sections: Shack Hill,
Little Italy, the Pines, and Skunk Hollow." He went on to tell his wife that
Millinocket was a terrible place, because he couldn't get the kids from the
different sections of town to get along with one another.
"Well, I did the best I could," he added.
A dedicated Catholic, Wentworth was a role model for his several proteges,
including John Civiello, who became a priest and delivered the eulogy at
Wentworth's funeral in 1999.
Some of the greatest moments in the history of Maine high school basketball
have happened in Millinocket, involving George Wentworth and the Stearns
With Wentworth as their coach, Stearns won six Eastern Maine, four State, and
one New England title; which was not bad for a small mill town.
Under Wentworth, who coached in Millinocket for 31 years, Stearns
got the first backboards in the state. Stearns players enjoyed a laundry system
which ensured that they would have fresh uniforms. While Wentworth was in
charge, Stearns players traveled to away games in a Bangor and Aroostook
In fact, it was the decision of the school to use the regular school buses
that led to his decision to retire after 31 years.