Nick Charlton named UMaine football head coach

Orono, Maine — Nick Charlton has been named the 36th head football coach of the University of Maine, effective immediately.

“I am extremely excited and humbled to be named the head football coach of the University of Maine,” says Charlton, who has served as offensive coordinator at UMaine since February. “My family and I are very passionate about the UMaine community and the direction Dr. Ferrini-Mundy and Ken Ralph are taking our university. We are already hard at work to elevate the new standard we have set for Black Bear Football.”

Charlton brings a depth of experience, and demonstrated leadership at the University of Maine and Boston College, says UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy. “He knows UMaine and our program, and has been a mentor to our student-athletes, on and off the field. With his help, UMaine football ignited Black Bear Nation this fall. We look forward to the 2019 season.”

“We are thrilled Nick has agreed to become the next head coach of the University of Maine Black Bears football program,” says Ken Ralph, director of athletics. “It was important to us to keep the momentum going with the program and Nick has demonstrated he is ready for this next challenge in his professional life. I know our players share a strong personal connection with Nick, and he is fully capable of helping each of them reach their academic and athletic goals.”

Charlton, who will enter his fifth year on staff at UMaine in 2019, spearheaded an offense that helped guide the Black Bears to the 2018 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) outright championship and Maine’s first-ever spot in the Football Bowl Championship (FCS) semifinals. Under his leadership, UMaine produced its best scoring offense (26.5 points per game) since the 2013 season.

Individually, Charlton schemed an offense that helped pave the way for Ramon Jefferson to become the first freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Jefferson completed the season ranked fourth in the CAA at 86.4 rush yards per game.

Charlton also mentored second-year quarterback Chris Ferguson to a career year, which saw him pass for 2,372 yards and 22 touchdowns while earning a spot on the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Performer of the Year Watch List. Ferguson’s most impressive performance came in Maine’s FCS second-round victory over Jacksonville State. Charlton’s play calling helped guide Ferguson to a career-high, and Maine playoff record, five touchdown passes. Maine’s offense racked up a season-high 55 points and 427 total yards in the postseason victory.

In addition, Maine’s receiving core thrived under the guidance and offensive creativity of Charlton. Three Black Bears finished the season ranked in the top 10 of CAA leaders in receptions led by Earnest Edwards, who tallied 53 catches for 839 yards and 10 touchdowns. Senior Micah Wright racked up 47 receptions and six touchdowns, capping his career ranked fifth on Maine’s all-time receptions list (168) and fifth all-time in receiving yards (2,233). Individually, the Black Bears earned five CAA all-conference offensive accolades.

Charlton joined the UMaine staff in spring 2015 as an assistant coach with the wide receivers. He was named UMaine’s special teams coordinator in April 2016, a role he held until this past February. In all, Charlton has helped produce 12 all-conference players during his time at UMaine.

Throughout the 2017 season, Maine’s special teams production proved to be consistently impressive. The Black Bears’ kickoff return game, led by Edwards, the All-CAA kick return selection, ranked second overall in the CAA at 22.5 yards per return. Edwards led all kickoff returners (24.5 yards per return), including a 95-yard touchdown return against UMass at Fenway Park.

Maine’s special teams unit ranked in the top five in the CAA in three categories, including kick return (second), kick coverage (third with 40.6 net) and punt return (fifth with 8.7), led by All-CAA specialist Mozai Nelson. Offensively, Charlton’s wide receiving corps helped usher in first-year quarterback Ferguson. The Black Bears finished the year fifth in the CAA at 214.2 passing yards per game, with three of its receivers ranking among the CAA’s top 20 in receiving yards per game.

Under Charlton’s tutelage in 2016, Maine’s wide receiver unit ranked third in the league in pass offense. Despite playing in only nine games, Wright ranked in the top five of league leaders in receiving yards per game and receptions per game. Charlton’s guidance helped Wright to an All-American honorable mention accolade, as well as an all-conference first team selection.

Aside from the production he mentored at the wide receiver position, Charlton also made strides with Maine’s special teams unit in his first year as coordinator. Maine’s kickoff unit ranked second in the CAA, while the punt return team finished third in the league. Wright, who earned a second team all-conference nod at punt return, led the league in punt return average. Edwards also earned an all-conference honor for his performance on kickoff return. Each player also was honored as CAA Special Teams Player of the Week.

In 2015, Charlton led one of only two receiver units in the CAA with two All-Conference performers. Wright recorded the best statistical season for a freshman receiver in Maine history — 61 receptions, 818 yards and five touchdowns while earning second team All-CAA honors. Jordan Dunn also was named third team All-CAA with 56 receptions, 595 yards and three touchdowns.

Charlton came to Maine after serving three years at Boston College as a graduate assistant under head coach Steve Addazio and then Boston College offensive coordinator, and now Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, where he worked on offense with the quarterbacks in 2014. Charlton helped mentor Boston College quarterback and Pittsburgh Steelers signee Tyler Murphy, who set the ACC single-season quarterback rushing record with 1,184 yards.

During the 2013 campaign, Charlton was part of a Boston College offense that manufactured a record-setting rushing attack, with Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams and three future NFL offensive linemen. Also in 2013, Charlton assisted in coaching Boston College’s all-time leading receiver Alex Amidon and future San Diego Charger quarterback Chase Rettig. Charlton, as part of back-to-back bowl appearances with the Eagles, participated in the Advocare V100 Bowl and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

In 2012, Charlton served as the recruiting graduate assistant and assistant to the special teams coordinator.

Charlton graduated from Boston College in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy . He received a master’s degree from Boston College’s Woods School of Advancing Studies.

Charlton, a Salem, Massachusetts native, and his wife, Maria, have a daughter, Madeline.

The Nick Charlton File:
Birthdate (Age): December 20, 1988 (30)
Birthplace: Virginia Beach, Va.
Family: Wife, Maria; daughter, Madeline (Age 1)
High School: Salem High School (Mass.)
College: Boston College, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, minor in History (May 2011); Boston College Master of Science in Administrative Science (Dec. 2013)

Coaching Experience:
UMaine Head Coach: Dec. 2018
UMaine Offensive Coordinator/QBs: Feb. 2018–Dec. 2018
UMaine Special Teams Coordinator/WRs: April 2016–Feb. 2018
UMaine Wide Receivers Coach: March 2015–April 2016
Boston College Offensive Graduate Assistant: Feb. 2013–Feb. 2015
Boston College Recruiting Graduate Assistant: Jan. 2012–Jan. 2013
Boston College Assistant to the Special Teams Coordinator: Sept. 2012–Dec. 2012