ORONO, Maine — The search for a new men’s hockey coach at the University of Maine is winding down. Maine athletic director Steve Abbott said Monday there will probably be an announcement next week.
“The search is progressing really well. We’ve talked to some outstanding candidates and we’re going to talk to more. Our goal is to have a coach on board by next week,” said Abbott.
He said their search is different than others because “we didn’t have a deadline for applications.
“We just have a recommended date. So there isn’t a clean break [between the application cutoff date and when finalists must be selected]. It’s more of a rolling process. We have been talking to candidates but a new one could walk in and still apply,” explained Abbott.
They will not release a list of finalists “because a number of candidates have [coaching] positions and it wouldn’t do them any good [if their names were released] and we didn’t select them,” Abbott said. “It would make it harder for them and could put pressure on them in their current positions. We’re trying to be respectful of their current jobs and situations.”
Abbott said UMaine has contacted the proper personnel to seek permission to talk to prospective candidates “in cases where we needed to.”
He wouldn’t release names, but reliable sources in the hockey community have indicated the frontrunners include University of New Hampshire assistant coach and former Colby College head coach Jim Tortorella, former Black Bear and University of Massachusetts assistant and current Yale University assistant Dennis “Red” Gendron, Maine associate head coach and Black Bears interim head coach Bob Corkum, and Mark Osiecki, former University of Wisconsin assistant, who was recently fired as the head coach at Ohio State after three seasons.
Tortorella was a former University of Maine goalie and Corkum was a Black Bear winger.
Tortorella went 230-138-33 in 16 years at Colby, was a three-time finalist for NCAA Division III national coach of the year honors and is a past president of the American Hockey Coaches Association.
Gendron won national championships as an assistant at Maine (1992-93) and at Yale this past season and earned Stanley Cup rings as an assistant with New Jersey in 1995 and 2000.
Corkum has spent five seasons as an associate head coach at Maine after an impressive 720-game NHL career and was recently named as the head coach of the United States Under-18 Select team.
Osiecki spent seven seasons as the head coach/general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (Junior A-amateur) before a six-year stint as an assistant at Wisconsin, including the 2006 NCAA championship team, and his time at Ohio State, where he was 46-50-16.