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Maine Black Bears
MaineBlackBears.png
University University of Maine
Conference America East Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Blake James
Location Orono, ME
Varsity teams 17 teams (8 men, 9 women)
Football stadium Morse Field
Basketball arena Harold Alfond Arena
Mascot Bananas T. Bear
Nickname Black Bears
Fight song Stein Song
Colors Dark Blue and Light Blue

             

Homepage Go Black Bears

The Maine Black Bears are the athletic teams which represent the University of Maine. They compete in NCAA Division I athletics, with the majority of the teams playing in the America East Conference. The only exceptions are the ice hockey program, which competes in Hockey East, and the football program, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Contents

Ice hockey

The University of Maine men's ice hockey program was introduced in 1977. The team has been successful and have won the Hockey East title five times, appeared in eleven Frozen Fours, and won 2 National Championships. The Black Bears compete in the Hockey East conference, a very competitive conference including teams such as Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and New Hampshire. The program has produced many professional ice hockey players, such as Paul Kariya, Eric Weinrich, Keith Carney, Garth Snow, Mike Dunham, Dustin Penner, and Jimmy Howard. The team is best known for its 1992–93 season, in which the team only lost one game, finishing with a record of 42–1–2. The team is noted for its head coach Shawn Walsh, who coached the team for seventeen seasons. Walsh is credited with turning the team into such a successful program, as well as turning the Alfond Arena into one of the most intimidating arenas in college hockey. Walsh died of renal cell carcinoma on September 26, 2001.

Football

Maine's football team competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. Previous to the 2007 season, the team competed in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The football program has produced a few professional football players, such as Pro Bowl linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who transferred to USC after his freshman year, center Mike Flynn, linebacker Stephen Cooper, offensive lineman Justin Strzelczyk, wide receiver Phil McGeoghan, running back Montell Owens, quarterback Mike Buck, defensive back Daren Stone, tight end Matthew Mulligan, defensive lineman Mike DeVito, Linebacker Jovan Belcher and defensive back Brandon McGowan. Current Iowa coach, and 2002 AP National Coach of the Year Kirk Ferentz began his head coaching career at Maine. The team also received brief publicity when the Oakland Raiders selected wide receiver Kevin McMahan as the last player in the 2006 NFL Draft, affectionately known as Mr. Irrelevant. The University of Maine is known currently to have the most active players on NFL rosters at the Division 1 FCS level.

The team has played several division IA opponents and is slowly progressing to develop into a division IA program. The team has played teams in recent years such as Iowa, Rutgers, Connecticut, Syracuse, and to play the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. In 2004, The Maine Black Bears defeated Mississippi State University 9-7. This marked the first time that Maine defeated a Division 1-A opponent. The largest crowd that the Black Bears have ever played in front of was 77,469 fans at Memorial Stadium, when Maine fell 25-7 to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln. The team currently plays their collegiate games at Harold Alfond Stadium.

Basketball

The university's basketball team, as well as all other sports teams, participate in the America East Conference. The current Clemson University head coach Jack Leggett also attended the university, as well as NBA head coach Rick Carlisle (although Carlisle transferred to Virginia and finished his college career there). Other notables include Rufus Harris, European player Kevin Reed, and several Maine high school stars including Bangor's Jon McAllian and Edward Little's Troy Barnies. A prominent current player is San Diego-native Gerald Mclemore. The mens team has enjoyed a very good 09-10 season after 2 mediocre seasons. The women's and men's basketball teams play their collegiate games at Alfond Arena.

The women's basketball team is particularly noted for producing one-time WNBA player Cindy Blodgett, who also served as an assistant coach at Boston College and Brown.

On May 23, 2007, Blodgett was named the Head Coach of Maine's women's team.

The Black Bears' rivalry with the New Hampshire Wildcats is the longest continuous basketball rivalry between any two non-Ivy League schools: the men's teams have played each other 105 seasons in a row, from 1904-1905 to the present season (2008-2009.)

Radio and television

The current radio broadcast rights to all U Maine sports are held by Bangor, Maine ESPN Radio affiliate WZON. TV coverage includes Bangor's WABI-TV (Most home football and basketball games and some hockey games). NESN also carries select hockey and basketball games (from American East TV and ESPN Plus). During the school year Black Bear Weekly is carried Sunday mornings on WABI.

In 2006 the University sold the advertising rights to athletic events to Missouri based Learfield Sports. Starting with the fall 2007 sports season, WVOM and WGUY split radio coverage, WGUY carrying men's and women's basketball and select baseball and softball games and WVOM carrying football and hockey broadcasts. After the 2008 fall sports season, WAEI-FM became the flagship for all Maine sports.

Championships

National Championships

Men's Ice Hockey - 1993, 1999

Conference Titles

Men's Ice Hockey
Hockey East - 1989, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2004
Baseball
America East - 1990, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2005, 2006
Men's Cross Country
America East - 2004
Softball
America East - 1994, 2004
Football
Yankee Conference - 1949, 1951, 1952, 1961, 1965, 1974, 1982, 1987, 1989
Atlantic 10 - 2001, 2002
Women's Basketball
America East - 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004
Men's Outdoor Track
America East - 1995

See also

University of Maine

External links

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