Family and Friends Weekend is Oct. 4–6. Friday night events include performances by comedians John Cassidy and Bob Marley. Saturday highlights include the 2013 Black Bear Attack Adventure Race, a lobster bake, football against Delaware and a parent social at the Bear’s Den. Sunday’s events include a family brunch at the Bear’s Den and a men’s ice hockey game against Dalhousie. More information on tickets, registrations and reservations is online.
Archive for the ‘Athletics’ Category
Steve Abbott, athletic director at the University of Maine, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about the factors that play a role in determining the salary of UMaine athletics coaches.
The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among several news organizations to report Maria Lewis, University of Maine women’s ice hockey coach, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation focusing on NCAA compliance issues. The Island Packet and Boston.com also carried a report by The Associated Press.
WLBZ (Channel 2) covered the University of Maine football team’s Armed Forces Appreciation Day during the home opener Saturday against Bryant University. Members of the armed forces were honored by running onto the field with the team and receiving free tickets to the game. The Black Bears won 35–22.
The Bangor Daily News published the editorial “Bangor, UMaine should make the most of Black Bears hoops at the Cross Center” after the UMaine basketball teams got a glimpse of their new home venue in Bangor. The editorial urged the importance of boosting the university’s reputation as a cultural asset to the broader region.
The Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) covered the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the basketball court at the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The University of Maine men’s and women’s basketball teams got a look at their new home venue where they will play most of their games. UMaine President Paul Ferguson, UMaine Athletics Director Steve Abbott and Black Bear basketball coaches Ted Woodward and Richard Baron spoke at the event.
University of Maine students talked to WLBZ (Channel 2) about their excitement for the upcoming home opener football game Saturday between the Black Bears and Bryant University.
The Bangor Daily News, Boston.com and Portland Press Herald were among several news organizations to report on Steve Abbott’s announcement that he will leave the position of University of Maine athletic director this fall after three years of service. Abbott said he will return to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins. WVII (Channel 7), WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) also carried reports.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson and Athletic Director Steve Abbott have announced that Abbott will be leaving the position of Athletic Director this fall after three years of service. Abbott will be returning to serve as Chief of Staff to United States Sen. Susan Collins, a position he formerly held from 1997–2009.
“I have greatly enjoyed working with Steve to further the success of Black Bear Athletics. We have worked diligently together to support our student athletes, enhance our athletic facilities and manage a fully compliant Division I Program,” said President Ferguson. “I look forward to continuing our working relationship in his role with Senator Collins.”
During Abbott’s tenure the university completed a $5.5 million renovation of the Alfond Arena, constructed a walkway to connect the first-year student dorms to the Arena and other playing fields, constructed the $500,000 Paul J. Mitchell Batting Pavilion, and began a $15 million renovation to the Memorial Gym and Field House, the first phase of which is expected to be completed this December. The university will also play men’s and women’s basketball in the new $65 million Cross Insurance Center.
Abbott expressed a deep appreciation for his experience at UMaine and for the working relationship that he has had with University of Maine President Paul Ferguson. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with President Ferguson and his Cabinet,” said Abbott. “The President has been a great partner for me and all of us in the athletics department. His leadership and his vision for the university as articulated in the Blue Sky Plan, makes me very optimistic for UMaine’s future.”
“The University of Maine is a special place to me and my family,” said Abbott. “Given our family history and my lifelong affinity for Black Bear athletics, I am especially pleased to have been a part of the Athletics Department these past three years. I have great respect for the staff and coaches, and I continue to be impressed by the commitment and the work ethic of our student athletes. They are a real credit to this institution.”
“I have been a Black Bear fan since before I was a ball boy for the football team four decades ago and I look forward to returning to the stands as a fan of all our teams as soon as my employment here ends,” Abbott said.
Abbott highlighted the significance of the relationship that the university has formed with New Balance, which provided a $5 million naming gift for the Field House renovation. The gift was the largest corporate gift in UMaine history.
“This is a terrific relationship with a company that has almost 1,000 employees in Maine. The Davis family is incredibly generous and has built an organization that shares our values. The UMaine-New Balance relationship will continue to grow in the future and will greatly benefit both entities,” said Abbott.
Ferguson commented that one of the most significant contributions that Abbott made to UMaine Athletics was his work with other athletic directors, their staffs, and the conference staffs for the three conferences in which the University of Maine competes. Abbott agreed, “The athletic directors in our conferences are a group of people who are committed to the student-athletes, have great perspective on the role of athletics at academic institutions, and recognize both the value and the joy of athletic competition.”
During Abbott’s tenure the Colonial Athletic Association added Stony Brook University and the University at Albany, as well as retaining the University of Rhode Island, establishing geographic balance in the conference and placing all four football-playing schools in the same conference.
At the same time Hockey East added Notre Dame and the University of Connecticut as members, further solidifying its position as the strongest league in college hockey.
Abbott also served on the search committee for the America East Conference Commissioner and was chair of the Athletics Directors Council when the America East added UMass Lowell to the league, a traditional rival whose location is the second closest to the Orono campus in America East.
In reflecting on Abbott’s departure, America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen said that, “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Steve. He’s served as chair of the AD Council over the past year, providing steady leadership during a critical time for the conference. He quickly gained the respect of his peers and I know they join me in wishing him the very best in the future.”
President Ferguson has begun the process for a national search to replace Abbott.
Six former Black Bear student-athletes will be inducted into the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 13.
The inductees are Francois Bouchard, who played men’s basketball; Jack Capuano, men’s ice hockey; Gerard LaFlamme, track and field; Susan Lizzotte, swimming; Carleton “Speed” Merritt, football; and Chad White, baseball.
A reception in the Hall of Fame lobby of the Memorial Gym will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be held at Wells Conference Center at 7 p.m. followed by the induction ceremony.
Tickets are $40 and may be purchased by calling the Black Bear ticket office at 207.581.BEAR or 800.756.TEAM. Tickets for the ceremony must be purchased by noon Wednesday, Sept. 11.
The honorees will also be recognized during halftime of the UMaine football game against Bryant on Saturday, Sept. 14.