Townsend to retire as River Ridge coach

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Caron Townsend


positive impact on many

By Ted Pennekamp


After 31 years on the sidelines at River Ridge and Bloomington, Caron Townsend has submitted to the River Ridge School Board her request to retire as head girls basketball coach. The board accepted her retirement from the position, and thanked her for her service to the district in this role.

Over the past 31 seasons, Coach Townsend has built a program to model in the state of Wisconsin. She has achieved an overall record of 537-195. This includes 13 conference, 12 regional, and two sectional titles. In 2011, she led River Ridge to a state runner up finish. She has been selected as Conference Coach of the Year 12 times, 2011 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Coach of the Year, and in 2018 she was inducted into the WBCA Hall of Fame.

“Coaching has been a great and rewarding journey,” said Townsend. “I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to coach for so many years. Many young coaches are not allowed to make mistakes and grow in this very challenging career so I thank the Bloomington and River Ridge administrations for allowing me the support to do so.”

Coach Townsend has been a proponent for girls basketball in Wisconsin. She has served as the president of the WBCA and has held other roles within the organization.  She is annually seen giving television color commentary for the WIAA Girls State Tournament.

“I have given this decision a lot of thought and although it is a very hard decision, I feel it is time,” Townsend said. “I have been coaching for 34 years; three years at UW-Platteville and 31 years at Bloomington/River Ridge. Basketball taught me a lot things as an athlete but I had no idea the magnitude of what coaching would teach me and the impact it would have on my life and for me as a professional. When I first became a head coach, it was all about wins and losses and being an intense competitor. As the years went on, it became so much more. It was about building a culture of success, teaching athletes the importance of hard work, developing the concept of teamwork and accountability but most importantly, building young girls into strong, confident young women.”

“Over my tenure as athletic director and before, Coach Townsend has been a standard in coaching. The program she has built is incredible and her impact is found in countless former student-athletes,” remarked Wade Winkers, River Ridge Athletic Director.

Townsend will continue in her position as school counselor at River Ridge High School. Within this role, she will still have a positive impact on all the students that walk the halls at River Ridge.

“I want to thank my family, friends, players and assistant coaches who have stood beside me and walked this journey with me,” said Townsend. “No coach earns the accolades or longevity without surrounding themselves with great people and without all of you, none of this would have been possible.  

“Lastly, I want to send a special thank you to my loyal Assistant Coach, Joe Schulte. He has been our defensive specialist, strength and conditioning coach and much more and is the reason we have been able to build a winning tradition at River Ridge. All of the things I have accomplished as a head coach are a tribute to him as well.”

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