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Country Day tabs former assistant Tim Webb to replace legendary Frank Orlando on girls basketball bench

By: Scott Burnstein, May 28, 2019, 11:30 pm

BEVERLY HILLS — It’s been almost a decade since Tim Webb led a basketball a program. 

He’s been an assistant. He’s been an associate head coach. He’s been a scout.

Now, he’s back at the helm. And it’s a pretty high-profile job with some pretty big shoes to fill.

Webb was named the new girls basketball coach at national power Birmingham Detroit Country Day, taking over from the esteemed Frank Orlando, the MHSAA’s all-time winningest sideline general (797 victories), who molded the Yellowjackets into the gold standard for girls hoops in the state of Michigan while hoisting a record 13 state championship banners and producing a treasure trove of all-state performers. 

Orlando, 76, retired after the conclusion of the 2019 season (the Yellowjackets went 12-9).

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, Webb headed the boys program at Auburn Hills Avondale from 2005-11. He was Orlando’s assistant at Country Day from 2014 through 2018 while his daughter Kaela was the Yellowjackets’ point guard. The younger Webb (now shining bright in the Big East at Providence) ran the club’s offense to perfection, helping spark the program to three state titles, including back-to-back crowns in 2017 and 2018, Orlando’s final ones on the bench.

“I’ve never stopped coaching, I’ve stayed active, around the game in one capacity or another … but there’s no question I’m incredibly excited for the chance to head my own program again,” he said. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work hard developing our young players.”

Country Day is losing Minnesota-bound Jasmine Powell and Stetson-signee Maddie Novak to graduation and will be in an unfamiliar situation next winter with no genuine star.

“This will definitely be a rebuilding year,” said Webb of the upcoming 2019-2020 campaign. “The lineup is uncertain, At this point, there will be no seniors on next year’s roster.”

Webb is embracing the challenge ahead, knowing the legacy Orlando has left will aid in the process.

“It’s never easy to win, no matter what program you’re in, a lot of things have to go in your favor … tradition can give you a boost though, the great players from the past can be an excellent resource for the new generation of players,” he said. “The alumni come back to the school over breaks or in the summer, work out in the gym and the players have an opportunity to learn right there, learn from girls that are playing big-time college ball right now.”

Walking the walk, not talking the talk, is what is most important to Webb at this moment.

“Look, Coach O never talked about winning, he just went out and won and his record and his reputation spoke for itself,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t know how fast it will happen, but I know Country Day is one of the most elite academic institutions there is and has one of the top athletic programs around, so the resources and the support we’ll be there. I’m going to focus on making each one of my players the best they can be, focus on making myself the best coach I can be and let the rest take care of itself.”

Webb played in high school at Pontiac Central (Class of 1993) and then at Rochester College. He was an assistant on Pontiac Northern’s two consecutive boys Class A state championships in 2001 and 2002. After he departed Avondale, he took a series of scouting jobs for the NBA’s G-League (Bakersfield Jam belonging to the Phoenix Suns) and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. More recently, he’s been the athletic director at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Northwest Detroit and the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the women’s program at Oakland Community College.