ORONO, Maine — The longtime voice of the University of Maine and Black Bear hockey television broadcasts is leaving the university for a position at Providence College.
Joe Carr, UMaine’s director of university relations, has written press releases, helped media set up interviews, assisted at university events and spoken on behalf of the school for the past 18 years.
The Hermon native also has served as the WABI-TV play-by-play commentator during UMaine hockey games for the past 13 years.
Carr will leave UMaine in early December to take a job at his alma mater, Providence College. There, he will serve as assistant vice president for communication and marketing — a new position the college created as part of a refurbished communication department structure.
“It’s a remarkable professional and personal opportunity that came around at an appropriate time,” Carr said of the chance to return to the college where he earned a bachelor’s degree and met his wife, Ellen.
Now that his youngest son has started college, Carr said he found flexibility and an opportunity to consider other career opportunities.
“I’ll always have a deep, permanent connection to [UMaine],” Carr said.
The 24-year Brewer resident said leaving UMaine will be difficult, but Providence College’s restructuring presents an opportunity for him to shape the way the school communicates with the public.
Providence College is a private Catholic institution in Providence, R.I., with about 4,500 students.
“It’s exciting, and at the same time it’s a bit daunting,” Carr said.
Carr’s parents live in Hermon and his brother lives in Veazie, so he’ll continue to be tied to the area, he said.
The university hasn’t yet decided who will take over Carr’s position, he said.
As far as hockey goes, Carr said he doesn’t have plans to continue his broadcast career with the Providence Friars, who compete with the University of Maine in Hockey East.
Carr said that one of the biggest downsides of leaving UMaine would be the fact that he won’t be in Orono to see how the leadership of the school’s new president, Paul Ferguson, plays out.
He said Ferguson shows potential to lead the university to unprecedented growth and success.
“I think very bright days are ahead for this university,” Carr said.
Carr, who had been operations manager at WABI-TV before taking his job at UMaine, was also the radio voice for eight seasons for the UMaine hockey team before giving up that job in 1995. At that point in career, Carr had called more than 300 games and had done at least one game from every arena in Hockey East, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference since his junior and senior years at Providence College.