The search for a new director of athletics at the University of Maine is not expected to begin until the new year.
UMaine spokesman Joe Carr explained the university will be soliciting outside help in an effort to identify the best possible candidates.
“We’re working through the process of selecting a search consultant to help with the athletic director search,” Carr said. “Once that consultant is selected, then we’ll formally develop a process.”
Carr said the procedure may begin once the second semester begins in mid-January. He said using the services of a consultant is a common practice in UMaine searches.
“They, generally speaking, have national contacts and specialties in certain areas so they can help identify prospects,” he said.
The consultant will work in concert with a yet-to-be-formed search committee to select a replacement for Blake James, who left UMaine in September to become the senior associate athletic director for external affairs at the University of Miami.
The UMaine athletic department is under the direction of interim AD Steve Abbott, an Orono native who was a longtime political staffer for Sen. Susan Collins and who was a Republican gubernatorial candidate last year.
The UMaine AD search was planned to begin well after the University of Maine System’s search for a new UMaine president. That process is well under way.
The president search committee, which is being chaired by UMS Trustee Ellie Baker, first met in October. The group met last month and narrowed its list of candidates to 16 after initially receiving 43 applications.
This month, the committee was expected to review its candidate references and narrow the candidates to eight or so. The committee then plans to begin interviewing the people in that group.
According to an update on the UMaine website, the identity of all candidates for president position remains confidential until finalists are invited for campus visits.
The committee plans to conduct preliminary offsite interviews in early January and university visits by finalists from late January through early February. The group then hopes to present an unranked list of acceptable finalists to UMaine Cancellor Richard Pattenaude by mid-February.
When a new UMaine president has been selected, that person is eventually expected to have some input in the latter stages of the athletic director search.
Cosgrove reflects on Favre streak
UMaine head football coach Jack Cosgrove was a college quarterback and has coached for more than 30 years. He, more than most, can appreciate what Brett Favre has accomplished.
Monday night, the 20-year National Football League veteran didn’t start a game for the first time since 1992 — a span of 297 consecutive contests.
“It’s amazing, in that sport, that he’s gone that long,” Cosgrove said Tuesday.
“I can’t even come close to describing probably the volume of hits, the aches and the pains, that he’s gone through to continue to play as long as he has and as well as he has.”
Cosgrove admitted not being a big fan of the 41-year-old Favre, whose offseason shenanigans and posturing for contracts in recent years has been a turnoff.
“He’s shown a selfishness that I’m not a fan of,” said Cosgrove, who called Favre a swashbuckler, a high-risk player who has made big plays but who also often comes up short by throwing interceptions in key situations.
“Favre is a unique guy. He really makes some of the most incredibly insane plays that have ever been witnessed: game-winning throws, risky throws, running to the left and throwing back to the right, and for touchdowns.”