ORONO, Maine — Peter Metcalf knows what it takes to win an NCAA Division I men’s hockey title.
The former University of Maine defenseman played for Maine’s 1998-99 NCAA championship team under head coach Shawn Walsh. As a senior, he captained the Bears that fell to Minnesota 4-3 in overtime in the NCAA final under first-year coach Tim Whitehead.
Walsh had died from complications of kidney cancer on Sept. 24, 2001.
Now Metcalf will have a hand choosing the new men’s hockey coach at Maine as one of seven members of the search committee which was announced on Tuesday.
The committee will be led by Dr. George Jacobson, a biology, ecology and climate change professor. He is also the university’s former NCAA faculty athletic representative and has been on UMaine’s faculty since 1979.
Jacobson has served on athletic advisory committees, America East conference committees and several search committees for coaches and athletic directors.
He is joined on the committee by Cherie Damon, Dr. Nic Erhardt, Dr. Richard Powell, Jon Sorenson, Janine Tremble and Metcalf.
Damon is the president and a longtime member of the Friends of Maine Hockey boosters group. She received the Friends group’s Hockey Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011. Damon and husband Doug are the parents of former Black Bear forward Derek Damon (2002-2006).
Erhardt is an assistant professor of management in the business school and the liaison to the men’s hockey team. He is also a member of the athletic advisory board and a former semi-pro hockey player in Sweden.
Powell is an associate professor of political science and has been involved in hockey as a player, coach and administrator for more than 40 years in Michigan and Maine.
Sorenson, a 1986 Maine graduate, is a Massachusetts business leader in the energy industry. He is also co-chairman of Black Bears of Boston, founder of the Boston Executive Club of the University of Maine and a strong UMaine hockey supporter.
Tremble also graduated from Maine in 1986. He is a marketing specialist with Maine Savings and president-elect of the Black Bear board of advisers.
Metcalf was an All-Hockey East rookie team defenseman and a first-team All-Hockey East and second team All-American his senior year.
Metcalf was chosen to the Hockey East All-Tournament team his senior year when he racked up nine goals and 41 assists in 44 games in leading the Black Bears to the national championship game.
The Pembroke, Mass., native had 24 goals and 84 assists in 148 career games.
He went on to have a 10-year pro career before retiring after the 2009-2010 season.
Metcalf said he believes the program can return to national prominence after making the NCAA Tournament just once over the past six seasons. That followed a stretch of nine straight NCAA berths.
“But this [hire] is very important,” he said. “If we go another five or six years without going to the NCAA Tournament, the kids growing up won’t remember those [prominent years].”
That will hurt the program’s tradition, which could hamper recruiting.
He said they need to bring in a coach who exudes excitement and can re-engage the alums.
“We need someone who is dynamic and has it all,” said Metcalf.
In addition to being charismatic, he wants a coach who is a good strategist and recruiter in addition to being charismatic.
“There is some rebuilding to do,” said Metcalf, who lives in the Portland area and is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch.
He intends to talk with former Black Bear players and bring their input into committee meetings.
He is honored by his inclusion on the committee, he said.