SOUTH PARIS — While the Medomak Valley High School basketball teams sport strong win/loss records thus far in 2021-22, it was a former Panther who earned well-deserved court glory during a recent regular-season game.

Scott Graffam, the Oxford Hills boys varsity basketball coach, collected his 400th career victory in a 67-43 win over Noble of North Berwick on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Scott Graffam on the sideline. Photo courtesy of Brewster Burns

Graffam, a 1974 MVHS graduate, has coached varsity basketball in the Pine Tree State 38 years, including a six-year stint in the late-1990s with the Panther boys. He has spent the majority of his years coaching the Vikings, but also coached two seasons at Scarborough.

“I was trying to get by [friend] Tony Hamlin,” Graffam said.

Hamlin retired in 2013 after he led Penquis of Milo to a state Class C championship, which earned him his 400th win in the process.

According to the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches website, Graffam is the 20th high school hoop coach in state history to amass 400 wins.

Seven coaches have earned 500 career victories (including Jeff Hart  at Camden Hills in Rockport at 502), with only two — Dick Barstow and I.J. Pinkham — eclipsing 600 career coaching wins.

Nick DePatsy, who coaches the Panther boys, has 370 career wins.

Scott Graffam on the sideline. Photo courtesy of Brewster Burns

“I think it’s more about longevity than anything else,” Graffam said. “You coach as long as I have, if you’re marginally successful, you’re going to get some wins. I think the biggest part of this accomplishment is being able to last this long with the changing landscape of coaching.”

“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of 40-year coaches coming down the line,” he said.

Graffam was a three-sport athlete with the Panthers and was the basketball team’s top offensive player his junior and senior seasons and still owns the single-game and season assist records at MVHS. He also has been selected coach of the year on various occasions in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, Class A East and Northern Class AA.

Graffam also was inducted into the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

While the veteran coach was happy to hit the milestone, he said he and his team — 7-1 and second in Class AA North as of Monday, Jan. 10 — have larger goals in mind this winter.

“When you’re in the moment of it, you don’t really think about it much,” Graffam said. “We’re trying to win games. I’ve got a new group of kids. It’s obviously something you look back on later as an accomplishment, but right now that’s secondary to what we’re trying to do as a program. We have a really good team, one of the best teams I’ve ever coached and I’m looking forward to that.”