Page 1

Black Bears 2016–17 • University of Maine • Black Bear Athletics

Karlton Creech Director of Athletics The University of Maine enjoys a proud tradition of its NCAA Division I athletic programs, helping the university to build its local, state, regional, national and international reputation. Throughout UMaine’s history, the Department of Athletics, teams and student-athletes have achieved excellence on the court and ice, and in classrooms and laboratories. The athletic programs provide academically and athletically talented students highly visible and valuable opportunities to represent the institution. The people of the state of Maine take pride in the achievements of the flagship university’s student-athletes, both on and off the fields of athletic competition. Our programs serve as rallying points for the campus community, region and state, and they are significant assets to the university’s student recruitment and retention efforts. Building on this great history, the 2016–17 academic year ushers in a new era of Maine Athletics. Based on extensive research, and in collaboration with internal and external constituents, we are launching a new strategic vision for Maine Athletics. With a clear focus on five strategy areas — Maine’s Team, Academic Achievement, Innovative Leadership, New Resources and Expectation of Excellence — we are poised to again make history. This publication will introduce you to some of the incredible people who represent Maine Athletics, as well as introduce our strategic vision and invite you to help us achieve it. We hope you enjoy learning more about Maine Athletics. Thank you in advance for being part of our success. All the best and go Black Bears.

Faces of Maine





































Faces of Maine

























The University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 581.1226,












Writing, design and photography by the University of Maine Division of Marketing and Communications

Black Bear Nation 4 41 42 43 44 46 47 48 49

Vision of the Department of Athletics Volunteer Evie Smith Supporters Greg and Betty Jamison Legend Dean Smith Maine’s Team Black Bear Sports Properties Buy Tickets, Follow the Bears Support the Vision Proud, Tough, Resourceful

Harold Alfond The Legacy Harold Alfond and his family are among the University of Maine's most loyal fans and generous supporters. Throughout the years, the Harold Alfond Foundation has provided more than $15 million in support of UMaine Athletics. Gifts for capital projects, such as Alfond Arena and Alfond Stadium, have transformed the game-day experience for fans, coaches and players alike. In addition, the annual Alfond Challenge has provided the Black Bears with valuable support for annual operations, and encouraged hundreds of alumni and friends to make gifts to benefit Maine's only Division I athletics program. The Alfonds' philanthropy has benefited thousands of UMaine student-athletes, hundreds of coaches and countless fans of Black Bear Nation. And in fall 2016, the Harold Alfond Foundation presented another $1.5 million, three-year award that establishes the Alfond Fund in the University of Maine Foundation. The fund will create a centralized fundraising structure for UMaine Athletics and continued support of the football program.


The Vision Department of Athletics

Strategy 1 — Maine’s Team

Strategy 2 — Academic Achievement

The Maine Black Bear brand is the most recognizable athletic brand emanating from the state of Maine. As the only NCAA Division I athletics program in the state, Maine Athletics helps the university gain recognition across multiple platforms. These platforms engage both existing and new constituents, and aid recruitment and retention of students, faculty, staff and supporters. Our current student-athletes hail from every corner of Maine, the country and the world. Broadcasts of games can be seen and heard locally, regionally, nationally and internationally via local and cable television and mobile streaming applications. We proudly share our brand with prominent corporate partners throughout Maine and New England. Our athletic competitions serve as gathering points for the university community as tens of thousands of fans pack our venues every year. And our student-athletes serve as role models for Maine’s youth, inspiring them to seek a better life through education and athletics. We proudly accept and embrace the opportunity to be Maine’s Team.

UMaine places a high value on academic achievement for our student-athletes. Our coaches and staff are committed to putting academics first for our studentathletes, who maintain a higher GPA and graduate at a higher rate than the overall university student body. Simply put, many of the very best and brightest students on campus also are athletes.

The Department of Athletics strives to be a Signature Program of the University of Maine 44


Strategy 3 — Innovative Leadership

Strategy 4 — New Resources

Strategy 5 — Expectation of Excellence

The Department of Athletics believes in leadership education. We embrace the opportunity to use the unique competitive environment of NCAA Division I athletics at Maine’s flagship university to teach and inspire our student-athletes, coaches and staff to be leaders. We will partner with campus programs and faculty members to fully integrate athletics into the university’s leadership curriculums. We will embrace and teach personal leadership, and we will seek new and innovative platforms to promote the leadership message across the state of Maine.

The Department of Athletics will aggressively seek new resources to support our programs. We will reimagine our fundraising structure and priorities to better serve the needs of donors and create the opportunity for more annual financial support. We will embrace transparency as we tell the story of Maine Athletics and our needs. We will constantly review and change our approach to ticket sales and game-day atmosphere to meet the needs of our customers. We will embrace our corporate partners and seek to expand this network of support, and we will candidly assess our facilities and infrastructure needs, and invite our supporters to help us meet those needs.

The Department of Athletics will establish expectations of excellence for our studentathletes, coaches and staff. We will expect to be excellent in everything we do, and we will hold ourselves accountable to this standard. We will work according to plans and goals while measuring progress through defined metrics for each of our sports programs and support areas. We will work as a team to meet our challenges head-on with a positive attitude and the expectation that we will succeed. We will be compliant with all university, conference and NCAA policies and procedures. We will seek constant improvement through LEAN projects that maximize our time and energy. We will be excellent. 5

Baseball Nick Derba Interim Head Coach

Nick Derba seeks blue-collar student-athletes to join UMaine’s tradition-rich baseball family, whose members include Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, 1964 College World Series Most Outstanding Player Joe Ferris and retired recordsetting MLB shortstop Mike Bordick. In three decades, the family has competed at the CWS seven times. Players are “Black Bears forever, not just for four years,” says Derba, who was drafted by St. Louis and played six seasons in the organization, including with AAA Memphis. “When they’re 55, I hope they pick up the phone to talk. I have that relationship with former coaches and there’s nothing better.” Derba, who was accepted to medical school, chose to coach after his successful professional career because he wants to mentor young men to be “Maine tough” on the field and gentlemen in life. Off the diamond, Derba enjoys snowshoeing with his wife, Megan.


Basketball Sigi Koizar Student-athlete

In her native Austria, Sigi Koizar enjoyed distance running. These days, the point guard goes the distance on the court, playing more than 35 minutes a game. She caught coach Richard Barron’s attention as a high school exchange student playing hoops at Stearns in Millinocket. In three seasons with the Black Bears, Koizar has become a force, logging 1,235 points and 295 assists. “A lot of people describe me as squirmy (as a player),” she laughs. “Like a fish slipping through everywhere.” Koizar likes camping, her Gram’s fruit-filled dumplings and seeing others succeed, including girls at summer camps. “I’m a simple person. I enjoy what I do and what I have,” she says. The biology major with a pre-med concentration and chemistry minor wants to play professional hoops and then become a doctor.


Softball Mike Coutts ’82, ’89G Head Coach

For Mike Coutts, playing for the Black Bears in the baseball College World Series was a dream come true. He wants the softball squad to have a similar experience at the Women’s College World Series. With the right attitude, work ethic and commitment, Coutts believes that’s possible. In 2016, the selfless, confident Black Bears advanced toward that goal, winning the league tournament and earning an NCAA Regional bid. Working together and motivating one another are paramount, says Coutts. Paraphrasing a quote, he says, “You become the average of the five people you hang around with the most … so choose wisely.” Coutts prepares student-athletes to be strong in games and life. He’s inspired by John Winkin, his former baseball coach, and Lynn Coutts, his wife — a UMaine Hall of Fame pitcher and assistant coach.


Cross-country Hope Gardner Student-athlete

Hope Gardner enjoyed running timed miles so much during volleyball practices at Fall Mountain High School that she joined track. That worked out great for Gardner, who became track team captain and earned allstate status. Home-schooled for four years, Gardner says her welcoming teammates have made UMaine feel like home. That also could be due, in part, to her twin, Faith, also running for the Black Bears. The art education major from Walpole, New Hampshire says working with Special Olympians during Maine Day in 2016 was particularly rewarding. Gardner, who is minoring in studio art and art history, has illustrated a children’s book and enjoys drawing portraits of friends and relatives. The daughter of Kimberly and Richard Gardner says distance running can be humbling, and she’s concentrating on remaining injury-free and relaxed.


Track & Field Jake Johns Student-athlete

Winning the America East cross-country team title and breaking the 4-minute mile are two of runner Jake Johns’ goals. Patience is key, says the motivated graduate of North Andover High School in Massachusetts. “I can see the goal,” he says. “You know if you put in the training, it’s going to come.” Johns will have lots of teammates cheering him on. “The whole atmosphere of being on a team is really special,” he says. “It feels like family. We’re really tight-knit.” For fun, the son of Maryellen and David likes to entertain others, hike in the White Mountains and golf. Middle-distance shots are the best part of his game. “My drive is suspect and I’m horrible on the green,” he laughs. The mechanical engineering major is interested in boat and plane design and production.


Field Hockey Josette Babineau Head Coach

Josette Babineau has gone to great lengths — and distances — to pursue her love of field hockey and coaching. After a stellar career, for which she was named Canadian University Player of the Year and Athlete of the Year at the University of New Brunswick, she drove solo to Saskatchewan — where there were very few field hockey players — to take a job developing the sport. Growing up in New Brunswick, athletic opportunities for girls were limited. Today, Babineau is especially gratified to be a resource for youth coaches and to mentor student-athletes striving for excellence. Her diligence and expertise have been recognized. In 2015, after the nationally ranked Black Bears won a program-best 19 games, Babineau was named NFHCA Division I Northeast Region Coach of the Year.


Basketball Andy Bedard ’00 Alumnus

All-conference player Andy Bedard twice set UMaine's single-season assist record. He also scored 53 points in a high school state championship. But he chose every second that he played hoops with Nate Fox as his most rewarding athletic experience. Bedard's home is on Fox Run and his backyard basketball court is dedicated to Fox, his UMaine teammate killed in 2014. Bedard, who played professionally in Portugal and is considered one of UMaine’s best-ever guards, says his favorite compliment is he’s a much better teammate than player. The tenacious Rumford, Maine native majored in sociology because he was intrigued how early experiences shape people. The founder of a housing insurance firm says success is about making his family proud. Running the company, Bedard says, is similar to being a point guard — lead by example, get people in the right spots and expect the best.


Football Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga Student-athlete

All-Conference linebacker Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga didn’t begin playing football until age 16. The native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who moved to Belgium then Montreal, played ice hockey as a youth. He was a quick study after swapping skates for cleats. The 2013 ECAC Defensive Rookie of the Year has logged 250 tackles in three seasons, one of which was injuryshortened. His belief in God was key during rehabilitation. That experience also helped the Maine Scholar-Athlete Bronze Medalist to develop his patience and persistence. The charismatic young man, who speaks three languages, is a natural giving tours to prospective UMaine students. In football and in life, the psychology major focuses on what’s next. “I live in the moment, keep moving forward and always give my best,” he says. 13

Basketball Bob Walsh Head Coach

Bob Walsh strives to be a role model who’s honest, listens, learns what’s important to players and positively affects their lives. He derives inspiration from his mom, who raised two sons while putting herself through college. Walsh, who grew up in New York City, jokes that he became a coach because the Yankees already had a shortstop. And while some of his family members are accountants, he prefers a whistle rather than a tie around his neck. Basketball has been a mainstay for Walsh since he played one-on-one with his brother, John, in their childhood front yard. The former point guard, who earned degrees in sociology and mass communication, is passionate about developing a championship culture with the men’s basketball team at UMaine. “I want to be a great leader and a great coach,” he says.


Track & Field Kaitlin Saulter Student-athlete

For Kaitlin Saulter, early morning runs with her parents, Mike and Brenda, start the day right. “It’s something special before the crowd gets out of bed,� she says. The crowd includes her younger sisters, Brianna and Michaela. Winning the state Class B 400 as a first-year at Hermon was a confidence booster, says Saulter, who became an All-American high school soccer player and state record-setter in the 400. She also played two years of soccer for UMaine before switching to cross-country. Special Black Bear athletic moments include scoring the winning overtime goal versus UNH and winning the 800 at the New England Championships. The food science and human nutrition major with a pre-med concentration likes baking and recently made her parents an anniversary dinner. She plans to have a career as an osteopath or chiropractor.


Basketball Richard Barron Head Coach

Richard Barron, who’s coached at Baylor and Princeton, says the grass is plenty green in Maine, and dreamers and doers can be successful contributors, whether in basketball, aquaculture or business. In his boyhood back yard, he scored last-second shots in imaginary contests to lead teams to victory. During the previous two seasons, the women’s basketball team has won a lot more games than not — posting 26-9 and 23-9 records, and earning consecutive WNIT appearances. Being disciplined and improving each day matters, he says. “If you play at a high level, it raises your game, even if you lose.” Barron advocates being part of something bigger than oneself and quotes Ghalib: “For the raindrop, joy is in entering the river.” The husband and father of three played basketball and baseball at Kenyon College while majoring in biology. 16

Ice Hockey Jessica Vallotton Student-athlete

At UMaine, Jessica Vallotton has moved on up. Forward actually. After playing defense for much of her career, a hip injury made skating backward difficult. So the Glenboro, Manitoba resident now plays on the front line. She’s adapted well, scoring three goals in a win over Merrimack. “I had a smile on my face last year; learning a new position was a lot of fun,” says the civil engineering major who likes water sports, rollerblading and hiking. She began playing hockey at age 4 and also tried figure skating. “My mindset is to help others, love the game and enjoy the journey,” says Vallotton, who earned medals with Team Manitoba at the 2011 and 2012 Canadian National Championships. After graduating, the Hockey East All-Academic team member may move to Switzerland to play hockey, pursue a career and coach.


Track & Field Cross-country Mark Lech Head Coach


Mark Lech’s winning ways in track span from the Lions Club summer picnic 100-yard dash when he was 10 to his New England Championship 880-yard run in college. The two-time All-American who competed at the Olympic Trials thrives on helping student-athletes achieve their personal bests. Lech says the UMaine coaching staff has a high level of expertise and he’s gratified when less-heralded Black Bears top highly touted recruits at other schools. Sports enthusiasts may have seen some of those high-performing UMaine grads at the Olympics in Beijing or London, or in action with the USA men’s national bobsled team. In addition to helping all track & field and cross-country team members fulfill their goals and enjoy the experience, Lech aspires to coach another sub 4-minute mile runner and additional NCAA Championship competitors.

Field Hockey Courtney Veinotte ’11, ’14G Alumna

Courtney Veinotte strives to be an empowering force for student-athletes. She had just such a role model: Her mom, Tammie Veinotte, a UMaine basketball alumna, educator and coach. In addition to being the UMaine associate head field hockey coach, Courtney Veinotte owns Blackbear Elite, a USA Field Hockey Club for youth. The Maine Field Hockey Hall of Fame member believes athletics can transform girls into confident women, on and off the field. That’s what sports did for her. The former Black Bear captain earned a number of America East accolades and at Skowhegan, the hard-working All-State player led the squad to four consecutive Class A crowns. Veinotte earned a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in kinesiology and exercise science at UMaine, and now takes business courses. “I’m doing what I love everyday,” she says. 19

Field Hockey Sydney Veljacic Student-athlete


Sydney Veljacic “paints her own picture” by pursuing excellence, adventure and adrenaline rushes. The all-league and all-academic midfielder, who competed in the Junior World Cup in Germany before becoming a Black Bear, was instrumental in UMaine’s overtime win over Stanford in the 2015 America East semifinal. Off the pitch, the native of Coquitlam, British Columbia enjoys bungee jumping, photography, nature and foodie excursions with family, including her sister, Alexis, who also played college hockey. The optimistic and motivated accounting and management major seeks to inspire teammates by connecting with them individually and creating a bond. Veljacic, who one day may open a restaurant, makes homemade pasta with her dad, Tom, and does yoga with her mom, Lynn. If she lands a dream accounting job before graduation, Veljacic plans a summer trek throughout Europe.

Baseball Jack Leggett was a baseball coach with a football mentality. At UMaine, the infielder captained the squad that won two games at the 1976 College World Series. And the all-star defensive back still holds the school record for the longest field goal — 52 yards. For Leggett, UMaine “knocked it out of the park” academically, athletically and socially. The physical education major and history minor says professors, coaches and teammates provided him with opportunities to succeed. And Leggett — an American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer — seized them. In 38 seasons as baseball coach at Clemson, Western Carolina and UVM, his teams won 1,332 games and made 26 NCAA Tournament appearances. He guided Clemson to six College World Series. Leggett appreciates that former players — including 22 who made it to the Major League — keep in touch.

Jack Leggett ’76 Alumnus


Swimming & Diving Emma Pontius Student-athlete

As a youngster, Emma Pontius liked being in the water and playing with algae. So it’s fitting she’s a marine sciences major and standout swimmer. Her love of swimming runs in the family; her sister, Kate, also will attend UMaine and compete for the Black Bears. The graduate of Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning who swam for Deering High School is honored to represent her home state in the pool. It’s important for her to balance academics and swimming with fun, family and friends. And fun for Pontius includes hiking and camping. Pontius, whose favorite stroke is butterfly, competed at the 2016 AE Swimming and Diving Championship just 2.5 weeks after an appendectomy. Future plans include graduate school, hands-on marine research and teaching. “I want to have a positive impact on the world,” she says.


Football Joe Harasymiak Head Coach

Joe Harasymiak encourages his players to be “Maine tough.” He knows a bit about that. During fourth-grade recess, Harasymiak needed stitches after he dove for a football and hit his face on a fire hydrant. His takeaway memory: “I caught it.” Between elementary school and becoming the youngest Division I head coach in the country at age 29, Harasymiak has “embraced the grind.” At Springfield College, the captain cornerback tied the school record for interceptions. More recently, as UMaine defensive coordinator, he fashioned the “Black Hole” into a nationally ranked defense. “You work for what you get,” Harasymiak says, adding he takes it to heart that players are a direct reflection of their coach. He wants the Black Bears to be hungry, be determined and “be the hunter, not the hunted.”


Soccer Vivien Beil Student-athlete

Vivien Beil says there’s a gap between who she is and who she aspires to be. But the psychology major and leadership studies minor already is in a good spot. Her first collegiate season, Beil was the America East Rookie of the Year and a First Team league selection. The sophomore captain’s shortterm goals include leading by example and winning the AE Championship. Long-term, she envisions having a family and being a life coach or sports psychologist. Balance is important to Beil, who enjoys handball, Judo, playing guitar, singing and traveling. Growing up in Germany, the self-described ice cream lover and optimist played soccer with boys until she was 16. In 2012, she led the German U-17 National Team to a European Championship and a fourth-place finish at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. 24

Football Mike DeVito ’14 Alumnus

A quote at the New York Jets’ facility sticks with Mike DeVito: “Don’t sacrifice what you want most for what you want now.” He adheres to that; since eighth grade the only times he missed a weightlifting workout were after shoulder surgery and an Achilles tendon tear. His work ethic and heritage (his dad was a professional bodybuilder and his grandfather was a high school football coach) helped propel him to a nine-year NFL career with the Jets and Kansas City, where he recorded 250 tackles in 110 games. At UMaine, trudging through snowdrifts at 5 a.m. to run in a cold field house also fortified his toughness. DeVito is pursuing a master’s degree in theology, and is a member of the Black Bear football TV and radio broadcast team. He strives to excel in service to Christ, and in service to family, including wife, Jessie and their sons.


Ice Hockey Red Gendron ’93G Head Coach

Red Gendron visualizes a third men’s ice hockey NCAA title banner being hoisted to the rafters in Alfond Arena. “There is no feeling like winning championships so, when you win, the bonds forged among the team’s players and coaches last a lifetime,” he says. Gendron knows the feeling well; as an assistant, he’s won two Division I titles (one at UMaine in 1993) and an NHL Stanley Cup. “Simply, my inspiration to lead is fueled by a desire to repay our university, honor the legacies of Shawn Walsh and Grant Standbrook, and to help young men grow on the ice, in the classroom and as men,” Gendron says. Because of his love of competition and teaching, he says becoming a coach was almost predestined. Gendron, who recruits student-athletes of character, integrity and passion, authored “Coaching Hockey Successfully.” 26

Basketball Garet Beal Student-athlete

Growing up on Beals Island, Garet Beal dribbled for hours on a gravel driveway and shot at a hoop his parents had bought. He developed into a high school Parade All-American and two-time Gatorade Maine Player of the Year, averaging 34 points in 24 minutes a game his senior year at Jonesport-Beals. After breaking his father’s scoring record to become the Royals’ all-time points leader, he successfully transitioned from a school of 58 students to DI. He’s proud to represent his hometown and state when competing at places such as UConn’s Gampel Pavilion. Beal, who works summers on his grandfather’s lobster wharf, likes bass fishing. The kinesiology and physical education major says his mother, Pamela, encourages him to lead by example. He plans to positively influence youth as a teacher and coach. 27

Ice Hockey Richard Reichenbach Head Coach

Many coaches talk about cultivating a family atmosphere. It’s a given with the women’s ice hockey team. The staff — coach Richard Reichenbach and assistant Sara Reichenbach — married after they met while recruiting for other colleges. Daughter Mia, nearly 2, who thrives among her older “sisters,” and newborn son, Ty, also are part of the contingent. Richard says the student-athletes understand being a part of a family — and team — involves work and support. He took up ice hockey at age 9, playing with friends on salted snow-covered roads. He excelled in high school and college, and played professionally with the Richmond Renegades. Sara competed in two Frozen Fours and played professional hockey in Switzerland. Focusing on the process and journey, says Richard, will shape the program into a Hockey East and national title contender. 28

Basketball Kim Corbitt ’05 Alumna For Kim Corbitt, being a member of Black Bear Nation means being part of an inspired, authentic, diverse community. Today, in a couple of roles, Corbitt coaches others to be their best. She’s senior human resources manager at Procter & Gamble and she organizes the Girls with GRIT Basketball Program, which balances personal development with basketball. The point guard from Albany, New York led UMaine to the 2004 America East title and NCAA Tournament. In 2005, the engineering major was named conference player, defensive player and scholar of the year. Corbitt, whose career provides her with opportunities to travel the world, says UMaine teammates and coaches still support and motivate her. And because of her valuable experiences in Orono, she says, “When I see a problem or challenge, there is no doubt in my mind that I won’t conquer it.”

Photo by Steven Easley


Softball Rachel Harvey Student-athlete

When Rachel Harvey of Southington, Connecticut visited campus as a recruit, it felt like home. “I will be leaving Orono better than I was when I came,” she says, adding her teammates are best friends and her coaches are like family. And she expects her education in communication sciences and disorders will lead to a speech therapy career in which she’ll make positive differences in children’s lives. “Have a purpose,” she says. “Wake up every day with the hunger and want to get better. Give yourself the opportunities and chances to be the best version of yourself you can be.” Her offseason dedication to improving her physical and mental strength resulted in an all-conference junior season. She promises to be a vocal leader as UMaine attempts to earn back-to-back America East titles and trips to the NCAA Regional.


Soccer Scott Atherley ’88, ’91G Head Coach

Scott Atherley’s first athletic experiences are forever etched in his mind. After outdoor youth ice hockey practices, which started before dawn and wrapped up at sunrise, he and his dad warmed their feet near the fire, drank hot chocolate and shared stories. Atherley wants the women’s soccer players to make special moments, too, and he motivates them to challenge themselves beyond what they think is possible. The optimist also understands that adversity, failure and patience can facilitate positive development. “You have to grow with the times, be open-minded and remain thirsty to learn new things,” he says.


Swimming & Diving Susan Lizzotte ’99 Head Coach Susan Lizzotte was a proud coach when Shannon Bender broke UMaine’s 400 IM record. To make room on the record board, Lizzotte removed the previous record-holder’s last name — Herrick — her maiden name. It was the last of Lizzotte’s six records to fall that she set during her four-time MVP career. For Lizzotte, it’s satisfying to guide a program that means so much to her. Academically and athletically, UMaine was the right fit. She recalls outdoor education classes that challenged her, making her a better person. She believes volunteering has a similar effect on her recruits. Since attending a tryout at age 8, pools have been Lizzotte’s comfort zone. She and husband, Jaret (a former UMaine swimmer), enjoy quality time with son, Jackson, who plays baseball, and daughter, Olivia, who favors gymnastics. Both take swimming lessons.


Ice Hockey Cam Brown Student-athlete

For Cameron Brown of Natick, Massachusetts, happiness is waking up knowing he’s got a game that night. The senior captain says it’s thrilling to hear thousands of cheering fans when he skates on to the ice at the Alfond. Brown, who first laced up skates at age 3, notched eight goals and 12 assists as a junior. The fearless, fast playmaker and Hockey East All-Academic Team member would love to play pro hockey. He’s got plenty of inspiration; photos of former Black Bears in the NHL line a hallway near the locker room. Family is important to the business management major. He appreciates his parents’ devotion to him and his siblings: Casey, the Holy Cross women’s soccer coach; Tim, who played soccer in high school; and Taylor, who plays high school and club soccer.


Softball Ashley Kelley-Shaidani ’12 Alumna

As a player in Little League, people frequently asked to see Ashley KelleyShaidani’s birth certificate because “she threw too hard for someone her age.” Throwing hard served her well. The Hermon native, who grew up admiring UMaine student-athletes and dreaming of becoming a Black Bear, became one. And excelled. The pitcher was named to the America East All-Rookie Team and earned league All-Tournament honors. In the classroom, the biology major and Presidential Scholar was blessed with professors who challenged her to think deeper, look harder and “see the big picture beyond all the tiny details.” Today, Kelley-Shaidani has a career as a physical therapist in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In her spare time, she’s a pitching and private softball coach, and relishes showing other young girls how to throw hard, too.


Swimming & Diving Tim Edison Student-athlete

Tim Edison, who plans to be a U.S. Navy officer, chose to focus academically on kinesiology/ exercise science to understand how to make his body the best it can be. When visiting campus as a recruit, Edison recognized how much the swimmers wanted to improve the program. “They were and are all hungry to get faster,” he says. “That really appealed to me and separated UMaine from the other schools I was considering.” The captain says it’s important to be able to look his teammates in the eye and tell them he left it all in the pool. The innovation engineering minor from West Deptford, New Jersey says his fellow swimmers inspire him to lead. He knows they have his back and he wants them to know he has theirs.


Cross-country Jesse Orach Student-athlete

An injury that caused Jesse Orach to redshirt his first year of UMaine cross-country proved to be a blessing. The Dean Smith Award winner, America East Men’s Cross-Country Scholar-Athlete and All-Conference runner needed to learn when training is concerned, less can be more. Now the healthy 2016 graduate with a chemical engineering degree has eligibility to compete while earning an MBA. In summer 2016, he won the Maine men’s division of the Beach to Beacon his first time running it. Another blessing for Orach — after being cut from middle school basketball, a track coach suggested he try the mile. Orach, who also played high school soccer, likes fishing. His grandfather, Stephen, inspires him. Stephen grew up in a coal-mining family, fought in WWII, threw hammer at UMaine in the 1950s and became a forester.


Soccer Noelle Leon-Palmer ’16 Alumna

Honors College was an incredible part of Noelle Leon-Palmer’s student experience and she’s eager to give back as an associate. The Ontario, Canada resident wasn’t originally invited to take part in the program so she asked to join. She says the interactive, interesting courses were transformative. At age 4, a determined, jubilant LeonPalmer also wanted to join her older sister on the soccer pitch so she ran on the field during a contest. She soon excelled at centerback. At UMaine, the two-time captain and two-time league Defender of the Year scored the game-winning penalty kick in a league quarterfinal her senior season. Traveling and becoming a physician are goals for the biology major and chemistry minor. “People are capable of anything they can see for themselves,” says the youngest of George and Lola’s six children.


Ice Hockey Garth Snow ’92, ’93G Alumnus

Garth Snow credits his time at UMaine as a turning point. When the Wrentham, Massachusetts native enrolled, legendary coach Shawn Walsh offered him a spot as a practice goalie. By 1993, though, Snow sported a 21-0-1 record for the 42-1-2 national champions. After earning a bachelor’s in business and master’s in educational administration, Snow embarked on a 12-year NHL career and played for Team USA at the 1994 Olympics. Today, the New York Islanders’ president and general manager shares a special bond with fellow Black Bears in the NHL. “Everything I’ve accomplished as a hockey player and hockey executive was shaped by my experiences and the tremendous coaches, deans and professors at UMaine,” he says. Snow dreams of his four sons finding happiness and a passion in their lives, and of winning the Stanley Cup. 38

Photo courtesy of New York Islanders

Baseball Danny Casals Student-athlete

Danny Casals wants to leave a legacy of baseball excellence at UMaine and he’s off to a great start. He was America East Rookie of the Week after his first college series versus powerhouse Clemson. In three games, Casals recorded four hits, scored twice, walked three times and stole a base. At season’s end, the energetic third baseman and leadoff hitter (.310) was named to the All-Rookie squad. The Miami, Florida native has played baseball since age 3. It runs in the family; brother Gaby played at Penn State Greater Allegheny. And sister Alexandra patrolled the softball outfield at FIU. The comedic mass communication major enjoys talking about and analyzing sports, and plans to pursue a career as a broadcaster. He likes playing card games, which his grandfather taught him when he was young. 39

Track & Field, Football Phil McGeoghan ’08 Alumnus

When Phil McGeoghan injured his shoulder playing football at Agawam High School, he couldn’t pitch for its baseball squad. So he jumped — literally — to track and won every high school high-jump competition he entered. At UMaine, McGeoghan excelled in academics, track and football. “If you keep score, I want to win,” says the Dean Smith Award recipient and oldest of seven children. The All-American’s 7-0 high jump set league and UMaine records. And after three gridiron seasons, he ranked fourth all-time in receiving yards and fifth in receptions. McGeoghan then took another leap — to the NFL, and played with the Jets, Raiders, Broncos and Saints. Now he coaches wide receivers at East Carolina University and develops players of character. The former Miami Dolphins assistant seeks to become one of the first Filipino-American head FBS football coaches. Photo by Rob Taylor


Volunteer Evie Smith ’59

Evie Smith appreciates the education she received at UMaine. And for years, the retired teacher and principal has shown her gratitude by volunteering for alumni and athletic causes. Smith, who played 6-on-6 hoops in the mid-1950s at Unity High School, is an avid Black Bear basketball fan. Smith’s games were in Waldo County dance halls and facilities, including one with a heating register in the middle of the floor. These days, she cheers on UMaine squads in a cushioned seat at the sparkling Cross Insurance Center. Smith likes getting to know players and coaches, and had an incredible time on the 2015 women’s basketball team trip to Italy. She says it’s gratifying to know her volunteer efforts contribute to positive experiences for student-athletes. 41

Supporters Greg ’72, ’98G and Betty ’74 Jamison

“I can honestly say that Black Bear fans, players, alumni and coaches feel like family to my wife, Betty, and me. Our financial support and volunteerism are a modest way that we can give back to our alma mater and the athletic programs that mean so much to us and many others. While recognition is not our top concern, we are proud to be members of the UMaine President’s Club and Stillwater Society.  It’s exciting to see both groups growing rapidly and benefiting our scholar-athletes and other students.” Greg Jamison


Legend Dean Smith ’90

Each year at UMaine, exemplary student-athletes are presented the M Club Dean Smith Award. Dean Smith — namesake of the prestigious honor — set a standard for excellence in Orono. In 1990, the basketball captain earned the NCAA Walter Byers Award as the nation’s top male scholar-athlete. The electrical engineering major with a 3.89 GPA also was a First Team Academic AllAmerican and New England Basketball Coaches Association Division I All-Star. Today, the father, business owner, engineer and coach lives by virtues he learned playing the game: Hard work pays off; learn from and become better after setbacks; value teammates; lead, especially by example; and “perfect” practice makes perfect. A favorite win is UMaine’s 84-81 upset of Michigan State in 1986–87. Smith has two sons — Hyatt, a Foxcroft Academy studentathlete, and Hunter, a UMaine scholar and football player.


Maine’s Team



High Profile: Black Bears are the best-known of all the bear species

Communication: Black Bears have better eyesight and hearing than humans

Black Bears

Dexterous: Black Bears are skilled and adroit in the use of hands, body and mind

Athletic: • Black Bears have great physical strength • Black Bears are rhythmic, surefooted and fast • Black Bears are powerful swimmers

Adaptable: • Black Bears can adapt to environmental and climate changes

There’s only ONE Division I school in the nation with a Black Bear mascot — the University of Maine According to “The History of the Maine Bear,” compiled by the University of Maine Sigma Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) service fraternity, in 1914, a guide found a small black bear cub on the northeast slope of Mount Katahdin. When the cub, named Jeff, was introduced at a football rally at UMaine the surprised crowd applauded enthusiastically. And when Jeff stood on his head, the crowd went “bananas” — giving rise to the name of all future UMaine bear mascots.

Black Bear Sports Properties (Corporate Partnerships) Black Bear Sports Properties (BBSP) is the official multimedia rights holder for University of Maine Athletics. Sponsorship opportunities include a statewide radio and television network, game-day impact and fan engagement events, signage and corporate marketing, as well as print, social media and internet exposure. To become an official corporate partner of Maine Athletics, contact Black Bear Sports Properties. Keith Doughty General Manager 207.581.4103, Ext 1 46

Jason Hoyt Manager - Business Development 207.581.4103, Ext 2

Jill Tuell Coordinator - Business Development 207.581.4103, Ext 3

Tickets 581.BEAR To purchase single-game or season tickets, call 581-BEAR or purchase tickets online and view seating maps and pricing at

Athletic Ticket Office Hours: Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Students with a valid MaineCard get in FREE to all home events. All home games are streamed free on Fans, visit to learn more about: • Bananas Cub Club • Black Bear Insider • Black Bear Nation app • Composite schedule • Donation request • Fox College Sports channel numbers • Radio affiliates • Steve Solloway features • Summer camps • Travel • University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame • Guide for visitors

Follow us on social media:


Donors help student-athletes reach their potential The University of Maine Athletics Department has a longstanding tradition of excellence in the classroom and in competition. We work tirelessly to positively represent the university and the state, and we’re proud to develop the character, leadership and excellence of hundreds of student-athletes every year. When you give to UMaine Athletic programs, you make a direct impact on the resources available to these students. Investments from donors like you help our student-athletes reach their full potential. All gifts to UMaine athletic programs help us achieve our short- and longterm goal, to enhance the athletic experience for student-athletes, fans and the state of Maine.

How to give There are several ways to make a gift to UMaine Athletics. Gifts may have added tax benefits, and often employers match gifts to make even more of a positive impact. Gifts to the Harold Alfond Football Challenge qualify for an additional match through the Harold Alfond Foundation to support UMaine football. Gifts to the Grant Standbrook Fund/Savage Challenge may qualify for a matching gift to support the men's ice hockey program. You may choose to support other sports individually or athletics as a whole via the Alfond Fund in the University of Maine Foundation, which was created in fall 2016 with a $1.5 million, three-year award from the Harold Alfond Foundation. The most common ways to make a gift are online, through the mail and by phone.



To make a gift online, visit You may elect to make a one-time gift or choose to make a monthly, quarterly or annual gift.

To make your gift over the phone, please call our Gifts Processing Department at 866.578.2156.

Mail: When making a gift with a check, please: • Make your check payable to “University of Maine Foundation.” • Indicate the fund name, sport or area of support on the check memo line or include a letter of instruction stating the fund you wish to support or how you wish the gift to be used. • Send your check to: University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792


Many other opportunities to give to UMaine Athletics are available, including: appreciated securities; real estate/property; life insurance; retirement plan assets; charitable lead trust; life income plans; bequest/estate gift; establishing endowment funds; creating a scholarship; donor-advised funds; memorial or honorary giving; and employer-matching gifts. Annual gifts of $1,000 or more per year qualify donors for our President’s Club Society. Total lifetime giving in excess of $25,000 qualifies donors for recognition in our Stillwater Society. And donors who have made a planned gift as part of their estate qualify for membership in the Charles F. Allen Society. Our goal is to make giving to UMaine Athletics an easy process. To inquire about giving to UMaine Athletics, please call the University of Maine Foundation at 207.581.5100 and ask for Seth Woodcock, senior associate athletic director for development.

Proud Tough Resourceful We value and respect our athletic history, our university and our state. We are proud to be Black Bears.

We face all challenges with focused determination and a will to win.

We are responsible stewards of our resources and always attempt to find a better way.

University of Maine BLACK BEAR ATHLETICS 5747 Memorial Gym Orono, ME 04469-5747 207.581.1052 •

Black Bears | University of Maine Athletics  
Black Bears | University of Maine Athletics