Thomaston girls basketball coach Bob McMahon steps down after 19 seasons

Thomaston’s Emma Sanson coach Bob McMahon during the CIAC Class S Girls final against Coventry at Mohegan Sun Arena, Saturday, March 19, 2022.

Thomaston’s Emma Sanson coach Bob McMahon during the CIAC Class S Girls final against Coventry at Mohegan Sun Arena, Saturday, March 19, 2022.

David G Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

For the last decade, if you were looking for the best small-school girls basketball program in Connecticut, you would have to turn your compass north to Thomaston.

Despite being one of the smallest schools in the state, the Golden Bears have appeared in six state championship games since 2013, winning three titles in that span including the 2022 CIAC Class S championship.

The architect of that success, head coach Bob McMahon, is stepping down to allow himself time to watch his own children play high school basketball.

He has a son and daughter at Bristol Central and a son at St. Paul.

“Words fall short of adequately conveying the impact Coach Bob McMahon has had here in Thomaston and the appreciation we all feel toward him,” Thomaston athletic director Aaron Bunel said. “What Coach Mac has accomplished here in Thomaston has undoubtedly put him in the conversation among the pantheon of all-time great Connecticut high school coaches. He, along with countless student-athletes, have created a culture and tradition within our girls basketball program that has garnered recognition for our small town school throughout the state and beyond.”

McMahon was at the helm in Thomaston for 19 seasons, turning the program into a perennial state power among small schools.

His teams were 307-121 with nine Berkshire League regular-season titles and eight Berkshire League Tournament championships.

From 2013-2017, the Golden Bears made five-straight appearances at the state finals at Mohegan Sun.

McMahon’s last game was a 42-38 win over Coventry in the Class S championship this past season.

“Throughout his tenure here, both as the varsity baseball and girls basketball coach, he has indelibly impacted the lives of hundreds of student-athletes, so many of whom have reached out to him since word of his resignation became public to congratulate him and thank him once more for what he meant to them personally and what he's meant to our school and community,” Bunel said. “Coach Mac has provided our school, community, and every student-athlete who's played for him countless memories that we will all cherish for many years to come.”

Each time the team left for Uncasville, the town sent them off in style as many townspeople would line the road as the bus pulled out of town.

Though Class S schools do not often crack the state poll, Thomaston finished in the GameTimeCT Top 10 three times, including finishing 10th in the final poll last season with a 23-4 record.

McMahon formerly coached baseball at Thomaston where he brought them to two state title games, winning a Class S title in 2008; @EricsonSports