In seven years he had three 20-win teams and four state tourney trips

  WHATCOM ­— After seven years as head coach of Meridian girls basketball, Mark Gilmore has resigned from that position leading the team. 

  Under Gilmore’s guidance, the Trojans compiled three 20-win seasons and made the state tournament the last four years.

  Gilmore cited a variety of things that go into heading a team outside of simply coaching. “There’s school systems, state systems, playoff systems, private school systems, as far as the WIAA goes,” he said. “Everything kind of just wears you out.”

  Coaching in a league loaded with talent, Gil-more brought the Meridian girls basketball program to a level of competing with the best in the state. 

  “Coach Gilmore has taken our girls program from the bottom of the Northwest Conference and turned them into a contender year in and year out,” Meridian athletic director Bryant Michaelson said. 

  Gilmore said he thinks there’s one more step for the team to take in terms of competition and he hopes whoever takes over for him can accomplish that. 

  “We put everything into it — the coaches and other people who help me,” he said. “That’s the big thing. We were able to get to that level and compete.”

  Gilmore said he’s going to remember his time spent with the kids the most. 

  “It’s just been a great opportunity getting great kids and meeting young athletes like that,” Gil-more said. “All the camps, all the time they’ve dedicated and work put in. Just being able to do that and bring them up to the level we’ve been able to accomplish the last few years.”

  A few upset games and some runs in the playoffs will also be remembered. 

  “We’ve had some huge wins in the playoffs and league,” Gilmore said. “It has been a premier athletic area and the league is extremely tough. Being able to compete up here and move on has just been super fun.”

  Most of the Trojans’ starting 2019-20 lineup returns next season after being a young team making it to the state tournament with a 16-12 record. In Yakima the girls lost in the opening round to Annie Wright and were out.

  Gilmore said coaching has taken time away from other parts of his life and he’s looking forward to spending more time off the court.

  He has grandkids getting ready to come up through sports programs, so now he will still be attending games but in the crowd instead.

  “I’m definitely going to watch basketball and go to the games,” Gilmore said.” I’m probably going to spend a lot more time being a fan than a coach.”