The Brewer High School is seen in this 2021 file photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Brewer High School girls basketball coach Chris Horr, who led his 2017-18 team to the school’s first Class A North Tournament quarterfinal appearance in 20 years, has stepped down after eight seasons on the Witches bench.

The Witches reached the quarterfinals again this past season before losing to eventual state champion Skowhegan.

Brewer was the eighth seed.

“It was time for me and time for the program (to part ways),” said the 46-year-old Horr, a former three-sport athlete at Brewer who graduated in 1994.

“The program has some good pieces in place and some players coming back and it’s time for them to hear somebody different,” Horr said.

“I didn’t get where I wanted to get with the program but we did improve. We got to the tournament [quarterfinals] twice after not making it the previous 20 years. But it needs a different direction and hopefully it will continue to progress.”

This past season’s team ended with a record of 6-14 but four of those losses came to AA neighbors Bangor and Hampden Academy and three more came to undefeated Skowhegan.

Brewer beat Nokomis of Newport in a preliminary round game to earn a trip to the Augusta Civic Center for the quarterfinals.

There were four seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and a freshman on his roster.

“It was a hard decision. I really enjoyed the kids in the program. That’s what I’m going to miss the most,” Horr said. “But I don’t think I’m done coaching. There will always be a competitive drive in me. The itch isn’t gone.”

His best season came in 2017-18 when the Witches went 11-7 during the regular season and earned the fifth seed before losing to No. 4 Lawrence of Fairfield in the quarterfinals.

His previous best was an 8-10 record in his second year as the head coach.

In addition to the winter season, he also ran the Brewer summer basketball program.

“As the varsity coach, you give up your summers and there are a lot of things I like to do like fish and play golf,” said Horr, who will now have that opportunity.

He will also be able to watch the youngest of his three children, Kyle, who plays for the Brewer boys basketball team.

He coached his daughter Ellie at Brewer. He has a middle son, C.J.

Horr said he had a “great support system” at Brewer headed up by athletic director David Utterback.

He has coached different sports at various levels for 24 years, including boys AAU basketball. He has also been a baseball and football assistant at Brewer and was the girls assistant basketball coach for a year after serving as the JV coach the previous three years.

“Chris Horr approached coaching at his alma mater with a great sense of pride and always treated the girls with the dignity and respect that all student-athletes deserve,” Utterback said in a press release. “He provided the girls with a first-class athletic opportunity.”

Utterback said they will seek to find his replacement immediately.