Gienger hits 300 milestone

Bainbridge Spartan varsity girls basketball head coach Penny Gienger recorded her 300th game with a victory over host White River during last week’s Winter Holiday Tournament.

“I’ve been here a while, I guess it helps to stick around in the same place.” Gienger said. “I wish it was 300 wins, that would be really exciting.”

Gienger, now in her 13th season at BHS, began her Spartan coaching career in 1989. She left the following year to take an assistant coaching position with Seattle University, but returned to Bainbridge in 1991 to coach JV ball. One year later, Gienger was back on the bench as head coach.

Gienger led her team to a AAA state title in 1999, receiving a State Coach of the Year award from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer after a record 24-2 season. She was the 1997 Olympic League coach of the year, and the WESCO coach of the year in 1990.

With only two seasons under .500, Gienger has racked up a 188-102 record through 2002-2003, and her fifth-ranked team is sitting at 9-1 in their current campaign. Gienger is now just three wins shy of 200, a mark that could be achieved in Friday’s away game against Rainier Beach.

Her current 197 wins puts her solidly in first-place for victories at BHS. Former head coach Mike Welch (‘77-’85) has 102, and Leigh Ann Charleston’s four-season run brought her 87.

Gienger also holds Bainbridge High records for seasons as a head coach (13) and state tournament appearances (five), and her winning percentage of .648 places her in third behind Charleston (.853) and Monica Healy (.786), who coached just one season in the late 1970s.

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