Dunham, Ernest lead UMaine sports hall selections

Posted Aug. 18, 2010, at 8:16 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 16, 2010, at 10:41 p.m.

      ORONO — Former men’s ice hockey goalie Mike Dunham and former women’s basketball standout Heather Ernest highlight the 2010 University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame class which will be inducted on Sept. 24, the school announced Wednesday in a press release.

Dunham (1993) was part of a goaltending duo that led Maine to its first-ever national championship in men’s ice hockey during the 1992–1993 season. He is joined in the 2010 class by Ken Black (’35), who excelled in track and cross country, former men’s soccer coach and assistant athletic director Jim Dyer, Ernest (2004), baseball captain Jeff Paul (’84) and football standout Marcus Williams (’05).

Black was a standout in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track and field during the mid 1930s. The Black Bears finished third in both the 1932 and 1933 New England championships. Black served as captain in 1933–1934. He also served as captain of the 1933–34 indoor track and field team. He was the national champion in the 400-meter dash in 1935, setting a US record in the event at the time. Black also had a very successful outdoor track and field career. In 1935, he was the IC4A champion in the 800 meters, setting a meet record of 1:54.5. In 1933, he was the Maine State Champion in both the mile and two mile. He also was the New England Champion in the 880-yard run in 1934 and 1935.

Dunham was part of a goaltending duo during the 1992–1993 season when he earned first team All-American, All-New England and All-Hockey East honors. He shared goaltending duties with Garth Snow and helped lead Maine to its first-ever National Championship. He earned the Howard Neville Rookie of the Year team award in 1990–91. He played for the US Olympic Team in 1992, 1994 and 2002. He earned a silver medal with the 2002 team. Dunham played 10 years in the NHL, including stints with the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders. He currently serves as goaltending coach with the New York Islanders.

Dyer was a long-time soccer coach and assistant athletic director at the University of Maine. He served as head soccer coach at Maine from 1982–1992. His teams finished at or above .500 for 10-straight seasons, compiling a record of 95-74-20 in his time. He served as an assistant athletic director at Maine from 1993–2004. He then served as athletic director at Maine Maritime Academy from 2004–2010, having recently retired. Dyer is assisting Maine women’s soccer coach Scott Artherley this fall.

Ernest served as captain of the 2001–2002 women’s basketball team. She led the team in scoring four straight season from 2000–2001 through 2003–2004 and ranks fifth on Maine’s all-time scoring list. Ernest, who previously had her number retired, led the team in rebounding for three seasons. She was twice named America East Player of the Year and earned America East first-team honors on three times. Ernest was selected to the America East All-Tournament twice, earned tournament MVP honors in 2003–04.

Paul was captain of Maine’s 1984 baseball team. He played a key role on Maine’s College World Series teams in the 1980s. He was named to the NCAA All-Regional Team in 1982 and 1984. He batted .340 or better in three different season at Maine. Paul hit .301 in 73 NCAA tournament at-bats. He earned a spot on the ECAC All-Tournament team in both 1983 and 1984. In 1984, Paul was drafted by the Texas Rangers. He is currently an assistant principal in Glenburn.

Williams had an outstanding career as a running back for the Black Bears during the mid-2000s. He led the team in rushing in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Williams led Maine to the Atlantic 10 Championship in 2002. He earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference first-team honors in both 2003 and 2004, while earning a spot on the Atlantic 10 second team in 2002. Williams holds Maine records for most career 100-yard rushing games with 19, most touchdowns in a career with 35 and most career yards gained with 3,940. Following graduation, he signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

The criteria for selection into the Hall of Fame is achievement in the athletic program, but other factors also considered include character, leadership and integrity, as well as non-athletic service to the university community and achievement later in life.

The six will be inducted on Sep. 24. There will be a reception in the Hall of Fame lobby of Memorial Gym at 6 p.m. with a program starting at 6:15. A buffet meal will be served at 7 p.m. at Wells Conference Center, followed by the induction ceremony. The honorees will be recognized at halftime of the Maine football game against William and Mary the following day which begins at 6 p.m. Tickets to the banquet are $35 and may be purchased at the Maine ticket office by calling 207-581-BEAR.

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