Frank Giufre, the run game coordinator and coach of the offensive line and tight ends for the University of Maine football program, is headed to the National Football League.
According to a report in USA Today, Giufre has been hired as the offensive quality control coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
Giufre could not be reached for comment Monday, but he spoke recently with Pat Spekhardt of “Downtown” with Rich Kimball.
“[I] got an offer I couldn’t refuse and accepted the quality control position,” Giufre said.
“The hard part was talking to the offensive line,” he continued. “It was done with a heavy heart … It was hard for me. I welled up and got tears in my eyes because the 12 guys in the room, I love every single one of them.”
UMaine head coach Jack Cosgrove declined to comment, citing the tenuous nature of personnel moves for which the details have not been finalized.
Giufre also told “Downtown” that he has known new Colts head coach Chuck Pagano for more than 20 years and was recruited by him when he was playing high school ball in New York.
The move is the first of what is expected to be a handful of changes on the Black Bears staff this offseason. At least two other UMaine assistants are believed to be under consideration for positions elsewhere, but those moves have not been made public.
Giufre spent five seasons at UMaine, where he has coached six All-Colonial Athletic Association performers, including two-time honoree Chris Howley (2010, 2011).
While the Bears ranked an average of ninth in CAA rushing yards the past three seasons (seventh in 2010), UMaine’s offensive line was instrumental in a passing attack that led the league in passing in 2009 after ranking fifth in 2010 and fourth last fall.
UMaine was fourth in CAA total offense in 2011 and sixth in 2010.
Three times during Giufre’s tenure, the Bears ranked in the top 18 in the Football Championship Subdivision in fewest sacks allowed.
The Syracuse graduate (2000) began his career as a graduate assistant at the University of Miami from 2001-03, then spent three seasons at Sacred Heart before joining the UMaine staff.
Pagano has made numerous staff changes since being hired, including recruiting another former UMaine offensive line coach, Joe Gilbert, away from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He will be the Colts’ assistant offensive line coach.
In other developments involving people with UMaine ties, former Black Bears wide receiver and assistant coach Dwayne Wilmot has been hired as an assistant coach at Yale University.
Wilmot left UMaine in 2011 to take a position at Harvard, but moved on to Yale recently along with two fellow assistants after Crimson assistant Tony Reno was hired as the head coach of the Bulldogs.
McLemore sets 3-point mark
Gerald McLemore has become the leading 3-point scorer in the history of the UMaine men’s program.
The senior from San Diego achieved that status Saturday, hitting four 3-pointers on the way to 19 points in the Bears’ 76-68 loss to Albany at Alfond Arena in Orono.
“Gerald’s had a fantastic career here,” Woodward said. “I’m very proud of a lot of the things that he’s done.”
McLemore has connected for 313 career threes, passing former UMaine star Kevin Reed (311) on the all-time list. McLemore has shot 313-for-818 (.383) in 112 games with the Bears.
“I’ve been fortunate now to coach Gerald and Kevin Reed before him, who he passed, so those have been great guys,” Woodward said. “He’s been a huge part of our program for a long time, a great shooter and we’re certainly proud of his accomplishment.”
McLemore also holds UMaine’s single-season records for 3-pointers made (102) and attempted (256), both during 2009-10.
Stretch time for Black Bears
UMaine’s basketball teams have entered the stretch run of the regular season as they jockey for position in the America East standings.
Coach Ted Woodward’s UMaine men (11-13 overall, 5-8 AE) have settled into a sixth-place tie with New Hampshire (10-14, 5-8 AE). The Black Bears have only three conference games left, but could still climb back into fifth with a strong finish.
UMaine, which has lost three in a row, plays Wednesday at Hartford (6-19, 6-7 AE) before ending its home schedule with a game against UNH and finishing up at first-place Stony Brook (17-8, 12-2 AE).
The Bears will be in the league quarterfinals on March 3 at West Hartford, Conn. How they wind up the regular season will mean the difference between facing Boston University or Vermont in the 3 vs. 6 game or instead taking on Hartford in a 4-5 matchup.
On the women’s side, coach Richard Barron’s ball club (6-19, 3-9 AE) is clinging to seventh place in the standings, 2 1/2 games behind No. 6 Binghamton (12-14, 6-7 AE).
UMaine has four games left against No. 4 Hartford (16-10, 7-5 AE), No. 5 New Hampshire (13-11, 6-6 AE), No. 8 Vermont (9-17, 3-10 AE) and last-place Stony Brook (4-22, 1-12 AE).
With home games against Hartford and Stony Brook, the Bears are fighting to avoid competing in the first-round game, between the No. 8 and 9 seeds, for the fifth consecutive year.
UMaine has not finished higher than fifth in the standings since it was the top seed in 2005.
First-round games are set for March 1 at the University of Hartford’s Chase Family Arena.