All Bryon Bean did at Livermore Falls High School was win, and on Aug. 20, the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame inducted him into their Legends of the Game category.

The former girls basketball coach led the Andies to an 8-4 record in his first season in 1969-70, and when he finished coaching, he had amassed a 179-25 record with Livermore Falls from 1969-78 and again from 1985-87.

Bean, 88, also coached boys basketball at Kingfield from 1961-63 before coaching the Livermore Falls girls team.

He also brought championships to Livermore Falls, winning the 1976 Class B state championship, two Western Maine regional championships (1976 and 1987), and seven Mountain Valley Conference championships (1971-74, 1976-77, 1987).

Former Livermore Falls girls basketball Byron Bean, second from left, poses with his family at the 2023 Maine Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Aug. 20 in Bangor. Bean was inducted in the Legends of the Game category. From left to right: Bean’s daughter Rhonda Bean, Byron Bean and his wife Nancy Bean, son Kevin Bean and Kevin’s wife Janet Bean. Submitted photo

“When I started coaching the girls — the girls asked me to push them,” Bean said. “They wanted to be a really good team. I think the major difference was I felt my strength in coaching was getting the girls in condition, and I am a defensive-minded coach. I think that had to do a lot with our success.”

Sue Tripp Fraser, a 1976 graduate of Livermore Falls who played for Bean, said Bean meant a lot to the players.


“I can say the core group from the 70s, playing for him, was a highlight of their lives,” Tripp Fraser said. “They credit him not only for having fun on the basketball court but for teaching life skills that have helped them throughout their adulthood. It was neat; he was a great coach and put us in a position to win. We were expected to win, and he made us work hard.”

His first season with the Andies was the year girls high school basketball went from half-court to full-court basketball.

In his second season, Livermore Falls went 14-2 and won its first MVC championship with Bean on the sideline.

The early 70s brought a 32-game winning streak and during the 1971-1972 season, Livermore Falls, a Class C school, had a 58-29 win against Cony, a Class A opponent that was considered the best girls team in the state.

Bean spoke to a Kennebec Journal reporter before the game and said the Andies weren’t changing their game plan against the Rams.

“I said we weren’t going to do anything different and we are going to play our game,” Bean said. “I said: We press and run. The girls ate it up; I mean, they ate up the fact we played such strong defense and we caused the other team to turn the ball over.”


Beating Cony was the biggest game he coached in his career up to that point.

With no athletic director in the early 70s, Bean had to make his schedule and tried to play Class A teams when he could. Some Class A opponents wouldn’t put Livermore Falls on their schedule.

“He had the winning record, and he liked playing the bigger schools,” Tripp Fraser said about Bean playing Class A schools. “Especially when the tournament started, it wasn’t good to lose to against a smaller school. Some didn’t want to play him. He just liked the competition, and he took it wherever he could find it.”

Before 1975, there was no state basketball tournament for girls. Bean said he felt for the players who were a part of the 32-game winning streak because they didn’t get the opportunity to play in the state tournament.

“I felt bad for those girls that played up to ’75 because, without a doubt in my mind, we could stay with any team in the state back then,” Bean said. “I felt bad they never got the chance to play in a tournament game.”

When the tournament opened to girls in 1975, Livermore Falls was considered a Class C school, but Bean wanted to stay away from the Hall-Dale club, which he described as hard as nails, so the Andies went to Class B.


They reached the Class B Western Maine final in 1975, losing to the eventual state champions, Lake Region. The loss helped them in 1976 for the Andies’ first state championship.

In the state championship game against Hermon, Tripp Fraser and Bean remember being down by 11 points at halftime.

“At halftime, it was just firing us up and saying step up there and play some defense,” Tripp Fraser said. “We weren’t doing what we needed to do, and that started the turnaround. We caught them in the fourth quarter. Again, he gave us all the core skills we needed to compete.”

“I spent the whole time trying to build up their confidence again and pick them up off the floor,” Bean said of halftime. “Some of them were sitting on the floor with their heads in their hands. It was trying to get them back on how good they were and get them to start playing our game.”

Livermore Falls cut the deficit to five points after the third quarter on its way to defeating Hermon 42-39 in double overtime to complete an undefeated season, going 22-0.

“It was unbelievable. The hardest high school championship to win is probably basketball because you have so many games you have to play during the season to qualify and get into a tournament,” Bean said. “Then, in the tournament — it’s pretty tough — you have to win four games at the tournament level.”


After the 1977-1978 season, Bean said he needed a break, but after coaching the Livermore Falls middle school girls team in the early 80s, he got the itch to coach the high school team again. He coached two more seasons at the high school level from 1985-1987 and led the Andies, who were back in Class C, to the state championship game, losing to Schenk 57-46.

Byron Bean, fourth from the left in back row, stands with players who he coached in the 1970s at Livermore Falls at the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame on Aug. 20 in Bangor. Front: Diane Richard, Genevieve Hinkley Clark, Debra Coombs Finley, Mary Lou Goding, Lynette Shepardson Wheeler, Donna Oberton, Brenda Bryant Leclerc. Back: Benita Lake Berry, Annette Girardin, Margaret Casey Leclerc, Linda Berry Timberlake, Cyndi Meserve Bona, Rhonda Bean, Coach Bean, Sue Tripp Fraser, Pam Richard Martin, Donna Pulsifer Gagnon. Submitted photo


Early in his first stint with Livermore Falls, Bean heard about the Sam Jones summer basketball camp in Massachusetts.

He took a handful of his players, and they made an impression at the camp by earning individual trophies.

“We kind of put a name to Livermore Falls as being a basketball community,” Bean said. “The first year after we went to the Sam Jones camp, we went undefeated that next year in basketball. That was in the stretch when we won four or five Mountain Valley Conference championships.”

The girls asked Bean if he could invite Jones, who played with the Boston Celtics from 1957-69 and won 10 NBA titles, to their end-of-the-year banquet in either 1972 or 1973.


Jones, who was coaching Federal City College in Washington, D.C., accepted the invitation.

“I told him you probably don’t even remember (me). He said, ‘Coach, you brought those girls down from Maine,'” Bean said. “I said, ‘Coach, well, we just went undefeated in basketball, and the girls wanted to know if you’d come up and speak to at their banquet.’ Without a second of hesitation, he said I would be glad to.”

Jones was supposed to fly into Portland for the banquet but got stuck in Boston the day of the event. So Bean and a player’s parent drove to Boston to pick up Jones. They arrived in Livermore Falls right when the players finished dinner at the banquet. Jones gave his speech and then the three late arrivals had something to eat.

Word got around that Jones was in town. Bean got a phone call from someone asking if he was bringing Jones to the VFW Hall. Bean said no, but the man said, ‘Well, I am coming over.’

The man and others came to Bean’s house to meet Jones and people stayed at Bean’s home until 1 a.m.

“Sam said after, ‘It’s people like that, I have to give people my time, they are my fans,'” Bean recalled.


When everybody left around 1 a.m., Jones spent another two hours talking to Bean and his wife, even though Bean had to get Jones to Portland International Jetport at 8 a.m.

Bean ended up working at other camps run by Jones throughout the years.

“Sam became a very good friend,” Bean said.


In September of 2022, a surprise party was put on by former players for Bean at the Livermore Community Center.

“That party last year rekindled friendships that had been dormant for a long time,” Tripp Fraser said. “It reconnected my generation and girls who played in ’71 and ’72. We would go to lunches with each other now, and we just had the induction ceremony on Sunday. It has allowed him to receive the accolades he deserves for being a great coach. It also allowed us to relive good times that we experienced.”

The surprise party led the players to put Bean’s name in consideration for the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. In February, the Hall of Fame announced Bean would be a part of the 2023 class.

“I am probably the luckiest coach ever to have such wonderful girls,” Bean said. “Most of the girls were on the honor roll. They were outstanding students; they were outstanding citizens. When they paid the tribute to me last year, somebody asked me, ‘Did you have any idea this was happening?’ How can you have any idea that a team 40 to 50 years ago is going to pay you a tribute? It was mindboggling.”

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