McCullen Reaches Milestone: 300 wins

March 7, 2012

Bill McCullen truly earned his 300th coaching victory — the program’s first-ever tournament win as a Class A school — in the first round of MHSAA District action by defeating No. 4-ranked St. Johns on Feb. 27.

After the Redwings hit two free throws, McCullen called a timeout with 9.9 seconds left, down one, and the length of the floor to go. He drew up a play that was introduced to his team only the day before — senior Kalya Hanses to inbound the ball to senior Erica Goodenough, who was to get the ball to sophomore Lexi Banaszak at the division line. Banaszak was instructed to get the ball to left-handed freshmen Claudia Reid on the left wing, giving her a 2-on-1 break with junior Kaylee Schmit. 

McCullen finished drawing up the play in the team huddle by saying, “We are going to score, and this place is going to go crazy!”

The play worked as it was drawn up. Reid received the ball and saw an opening to the basket, hitting the layup with 3.3 seconds left. McCullen was exactly right; the score went in, DeWitt won 36-35, and the home crowd did go crazy.

McCullen just completed his 16th season coaching the Panthers, taking the helm of a girls basketball program in 1996 that had struggled with a 28-37 record (14-22 in league play) over its three previous seasons.

The 300-win milestone is an achievement in itself — but more amazing with a closer look.

Under McCullen’s leadership, the program has posted a 150-20 league record (.882 winning percentage) while winning 13 league championships (including seven straight through this season), seven District championships, three Regional championships, and three MHSAA Semifinals appearances. 

In a sport with a 20-game regular season, he has averaged 18.75 wins per (to just 4.25 losses). McCullen reached his 100th win in just five seasons, averaging an incredible 20 wins over that span. DeWitt has posted six 20-win seasons in the program’s history; McCullen is responsible for five of them.

In the history of MHSAA girls basketball, McCullen is the 44th coach to reach the 300-win plateau and only the sixth from the Lansing area. His win total and .815 winning percentage places him eighth and second, respectively, among active coaches.

Expectations are just as high in the classroom. McCullen’s squads have averaged a team grade-point average of 3.59 (with a 3.84 team GPA this season), earning top honors in Class B twice during the 2000 and 2010-2011 seasons. Nine players have earned academic all-state honors.

Above all the wins, McCullen is an exemplary role model for coaches, players, and parents. His behavior on the sidelines and how he talks to officials and players exemplifies what is expected of coaches. He has taken teaching and coaching beyond the classroom and hardwood and has created a “basketball family” within his program, building an uncanny rapport with what he calls “my girls.” 

McCullen would likely recognize his wife (Denise) and two sons (Carter and Jerod) for their support and countless sacrifices, and he would also quickly shift credit for his success to the many assistant coaches throughout his tenure. His mentor, Jim Lutzke (who coached at DeWitt for six seasons before succumbing to cancer in 1999), had a lasting and profound impact on McCullen; Luztke undoubtedly would be proud.

Click to see the MHSAA record book listing for girls basketball coaches, and e-mail updates to 

McCullen, by the numbers

(League record in parentheses)
1996:         14-7     (7-5)
1997:         22-3     (10-2)
1998:         17-4     (11-1)
1999:         25-1     (12-0)
2000:         22-5     (11-1)
2001:         20-3     (10-0)
2002:         19-5     (10-0)
2003:         17-7     (7-3)
2004:         13-8     (7-3)
2005:         18-3     (9-1)
2006:         19-3     (10-0)
2007-08:   16-5     (8-2)
2008-09:   25-2     (10-0)
2009-10:   17-4     (9-1)
2010-11:   19-3     (10-0)
2011-12:   17-5     (9-1)

Totals     300-68    (150-20)

Performance of the Week: Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner

March 24, 2023

Regan FinkbeinerRegan Finkbeiner ♦ Hemlock
Senior ♦ Basketball

The 5-foot-6 guard capped her high school career at Breslin Center over the weekend with team highs of 24 points and four steals in Thursday’s 57-26 Division 3 Semifinal win over Hart and the team-leading 19 points and four assists in the 59-43 win over Blissfield on Saturday that clinched the Huskies their first MHSAA Finals championship in girls basketball.

Finkbeiner played all but four minutes of 64 total over the two games, and she made a combined 15 of her 27 shots from the floor and 9 of 10 free throw attempts, plus four 3-pointers in the Final. She had entered the season’s final week averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 assists and 4.8 steals per game and in February became the program’s all-time leading scorer breaking the previous record of 1,302. A standout in multiple sports, she’s committed to continue playing softball after high school at Madonna University. Her basketball team finished 26-3 this winter.

@mhsaasports 🏀POW: Regan Finkbeiner #performanceoftheweek #basketball #champion #congrats #huskies #hemlock #letsgo #moana #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.

MI Student Aid's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

2022-23 Honorees

March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner drives to the basket during her team's Semifinal win over Hart. (Photos courtesy of the Hemlock girls basketball program.)