The former Washington Husky and NBA star won two state titles in his two seasons as a high-school coach.
Brandon Roy has stepped down as Garfield’s boys basketball coach, a league source familiar with the program confirmed Thursday night.
Garfield recently posted a job listing for a new coach. Representatives for the school and Roy were unavailable for comment.
“I hate to see him go,” said Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea, whose team lost the Metro League and Class 3A state tournament titles to Roy’s Bulldogs last winter. “It’s rare that you get coaches that are good for the league, and I think Brandon was one of those good young coaches that brought a lot to the league. When you think about Ed Pepple (Mercer Island), Al Hairston (O’Dea/Garfield), and myself, it was like a passing of the baton. But in talking to Brandon a little bit, I know he has aspirations in coaching at the next level.”
Roy began his high-school coaching career in the 2016-17 season with Nathan Hale, leading a team with seven transfers, including the top player in the nation in Michael Porter Jr., to the Class 3A state and national titles. When Ed Haskins left Garfield to be an assistant coach at Washington State following the season, Roy took over. And again he had transfers, two from Nathan Hale, help him win another state championship.
Roy has a 57-1 record over the two seasons, and he was named Naismith National Coach of the Year in 2017.
Signs of Garfield’s storied basketball program being in disarray were apparent when three of the top returning players from the state championship team announced they were transferring via Twitter. Five-star guard MarJon Beauchamp, a junior, and three-star forward Jamon Kemp, a senior, will play for Bethea at Beach. Four-star guard P.J. Fuller, a senior, will attend Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.
As rumors swirled, longtime Lake Stevens girls basketball coach Randy Edens posted it was “comical” via his Twitter account.
“I wanted to see (Brandon) coach with a little less talent; what’s he capable of doing?” said Edens, who led the Vikings to the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals. “Being such a large name and a key figure in the Seattle area, those are the kind of individuals that we need to stick it out for the next generation of coaches. …It’s disappointing to see him leave, but not knowing the reasons why. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions.”