Oxford Hills head coach Scott Graffam directs his team from the bench during a Class AA North quarterfinal against Bangor on Feb. 16, 2023, in Paris. Brewster Burns photo

A grateful Scott Graffam said his successful basketball coaching career came together thanks to the tutelage of other dedicated coaches, crucial family support and the hundreds of athletes he’s had the pleasure of mentoring during the past 39 years. 

Graffam’s achievements on the basketball court have earned him an induction into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Bangor. He joins 17 other inductees, including his brother, Jim Graffam, and Margie Arnold, Joanna Brown, Paul Burnell, Warren Caruso, Larry Gardner, Todd Hanson, Randy Harris, Jeff Hudson, Mike McDevitt, Mike Murphy, Jamie Russell, Jonathan Stovall, Brud Stover, Christina Strong, Angie Suffridge, Al Veneziano, Byron Bean, Jack Cashman and Bill Fiskel.

“This is the most prestigious award that you can possibly get in high school basketball, obviously,” Graffam, 67, said. “So it is a great honor, obviously, and to be put into a hall that has some of the greatest basketball people in the state is really nice. A lot of these guys I learned from, and they were my heroes when I was a younger player and coach.” 

He remains the Oxfords Hills basketball coach, where has has coached for 34 years. He retired from teaching physical education in 2019.

“I have got to tell you right now coaching without teaching is a pleasure,” he said. “You deal with kids who want to be there. They are giving you their hardest effort and, you know, they are really good kids.” 

He said capable assistant coaches, the camaraderie of other coaches and his athletes keep him on the court. 


“I have always had good assistant coaches here,” he said. “It’s chance to be with the kids, and the kids are fantastic. It is a very great community to coach in, so it is easy to stay.” 

The Medomak Valley graduate also coached at Scarborough and Medomak and has accumulated 432 career wins. He collected 14 Coach of the Year awards, two regional championships, seven regional championship appearances and one KVAC championship. Twelve of his players have been McDonald’s All-Stars. He has coached several Oxford Hills finest players, including Dan Ladd, Andrew Fleming, Matt McDonald and Corey Tillerman. 

“I want to thank all the players that played for me because that makes these awards possible,” Graffam said. “If you don’t have good players, you’re obviously not going to be successful.” 

At Colby College, he played for the demonstrative Dick Whitemore and was a three-year letter winner for the White Mules and was eventually inducted into the Mid Coast Hall of Fame. 

But Graffam said the first few years as a high school coach were indeed a learning experience. 

“Well, you know, I feel sorry for the kids who played for me in my first five years as I was learning how to coach and how to handle things,” he said. “I would like to thank the administrators who backed me through my lunatic years.” 


He said he treats his athletes differently simply because coaching has changed for several reasons. 

“I wish I treated some of them like I have to treat the kids today,” he said. “You have to treat them differently because it is a whole different group of kids and obviously society and a whole new group of parents and how they see things.” 

Graffam added that coaching in South Paris continues to be rewarding for him. 

“I do want to say this about Oxford Hills — I couldn’t ask for better community to coach in,” he said. “This is a very supportive community, not only financially, but coming to games. We fill the gym. The people up here care about their sports, and that’s primarily why our sports are so successful because of the parents and community.” 


Graffam said Doug Craib, whom he calls “Mr. Oxford Hills,” was the backbone of the basketball program. Craib was Graffam’s assistant for years.


“I will tell you what I like about Scott …  Scott came in and he was a program person and he built that program from the ground floor up,” Craib said. “I liked everything about (his) philosophy, the way he looked at basketball and athletics in general, fit. 

“You have to make a commitment; you have to some discipline. You’ve got to play hard. Scott’s demeanor with any kid — they just loved it. It is amazing the love they have for this guy.” 

Craib remained Graffam’s assistant for a number of reasons, including Graffam’s humility.  

“Believe it or not, Scott’s a humble guy,” Craib said. “He was not afraid about sharing the credit, sharing the praise. It was not about him, never about him. It was always about the kids. Everything we did it was us and we. I don’t think you find many people like that in today’s world.” 

Craib said Graffam made basketball enjoyable for his athletes and assistants. 

“We had the same way at looking at things,” Craib said. “I never thought of myself as an assistant coach. He doesn’t treat his assistant coaches like assistants. You are a co-coach and you have a lot to say the program. 


“He is arguably the best in-game coach that I have probably ever seen. Scott can make a change on the go during the course of the basketball game. I think the best coaches can do that.” 


Graffam said he feels indebted to many people who helped him become a good coach. He pointed to Art Dyer, who was Graffam’s high school coach, “and he taught me how to play defense. I had the ability to play college basketball because I wasn’t good enough offensively and he taught me how to run a K-to-12 basketball program in a rural district because he had done it at Medomak.” 

He added that Whitmore taught him how to compete at the college level. 

“And then when I first got out of college, I worked for Rick Simonds two years and he taught me how to coach, at (St. Joe’s),” he said. “Those three guys really had a big impact on me.”  

Graffam pointed out that the strong support he received from his family allowed him to put his heart and soul into the basketball program. 

“I also want to thank my family — my daughters, my brothers and sisters and my wife for the support over the years.” 

His mother, Lois, also was important to his career.

“(She) passed away in 2021,” he said. “She was my biggest fan right to the very end — and she was 96 at the end.” 

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