The Bangor Daily News reported that Orono, Maine, native Steve Abbott’s three-year tenure as athletic director was a period of “competitive teams, key coaching changes and considerable growth.”
Abbott stepped aside as athletic director Friday, Nov. 15 to again serve as U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ chief of staff. UMaine President Paul Ferguson appointed Seth Woodcock as interim AD while a national search is underway.
A number of media outlets, including the Portland Press Herald, reported that the UMaine football team captured its first-ever Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) football crown when it blanked Rhode Island 41–0 on Saturday to improve to 8–0 in the conference and 10–1 overall. The Bangor Daily News, WCSH6, and WMTW also covered the feat.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson has named Seth Woodcock as interim athletics director, effective Nov. 18. Woodcock is UMaine’s associate athletic director for development and a senior development officer. He will serve until the new athletics director is in residence.
“Seth brings to this interim appointment a firm understanding and commitment to Black Bear Athletics and a strong relationship with current Black Bear coaches, staff, students and donors,” says President Ferguson. “Seth is well known for his strong work ethic and effective interpersonal skills.”
A national search is underway for the next permanent athletics director, with candidates expected to visit campus later this fall. The search committee, chaired by Robert Strong, professor of finance and UMaine’s NCAA faculty representative, will provide names of recommended candidates to President Ferguson with the intention of filling the position early in 2014.
“I am humbled and honored to accept President Ferguson’s appointment as interim athletics director at the University of Maine — my alma mater,” says Woodcock. “Our coaches, administrators and staff at Maine’s only Division I athletic program will progress as a team in an atmosphere of integrity, trust and hard work. We will continue to develop and produce quality student-athletes and a nationally recognized athletic program for our fans.”
Woodcock was named associate athletic director for development in 2012. Prior to joining UMaine, for a decade he was a major gift officer and campaign officer for Maine Medical Center in Portland. From 2000-02, he was a legislative aide to Maine Senate President Rick Bennett. Woodcock graduated from UMaine in 1999 with a degree in mass communication.
Woodcock, who lives in Windham, will take up residence in Orono during his interim appointment. He has been tasked to address several priority issues in staff and budget management, strategic planning and donor development.
In September, after three years of service, Abbott announced he would return as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a position he held from 1997–2009.
Abbott’s UMaine contract ran through December.
The Associated Press, Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2), 92.9 The Ticket, Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) were among news organizations to report on the announcement made by University of Maine President Paul Ferguson naming Seth Woodcock interim athletics director, effective Nov. 18. Woodcock is UMaine’s associate athletic director for development and a senior development officer. Current UMaine Athletics Director Steve Abbott will leave Nov. 15. NewsRADIO 560 WGAN, NECN, Sun Journal and MPBN carried the AP report.
The University of Maine football team was mentioned in the Press Herald article “Football programs working to rid Maine of bullying.” Jack Cosgrove, UMaine’s head football coach, said his team doesn’t differentiate between hazing and bullying, and hazing can “create a culture of unacceptable behavior” and “is a form of bullying.” Marcus Wasilewski, UMaine’s quarterback, said the violent and emotional nature of football can lead to confrontations between teammates, but it’s important not to let them escalate.
The Bangor Daily News and WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on the resignation of University of Maine women’s ice hockey head coach Maria Lewis. Lewis had been on paid administrative leave pending an investigation focusing on potential NCAA compliance issues. UMaine Athletic Director Steve Abbott told the BDN this is “a difficult situation” but “it’s good to have it resolved.”
Richard Barron, the University of Maine women’s basketball coach, visited WABI (Channel 5) to talk about his team’s upcoming Play 4Kay Pink charity game that aims to raise breast cancer awareness and research funds. The game will take place against Binghamton on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Mainebiz reported the University of Maine football team has signed an early deal with Portland-based Cogsports. Cogsports offers a computer-based psychological assessment tool adapted for sports applications, as well as a range of associated leadership training applicable to all sports.
93.7 The Wave reported on the status of renovations to the University of Maine Field House and Memorial Gym. The first phase of the $15 million renovation was originally planned to be finished in December 2013 but now is expected to be done by January 2014.
The Bangor Daily News reported the renovated University of Maine field house should open in January 2014. Will Biberstein, UMaine’s associate athletic director for internal operations, told the BDN the project is going well, but the opening was delayed about a month due to unexpected complications from working on a nearly 90-year-old building.