ORONO, Maine — Former University of Maine associate head men’s hockey coach Dan Kerluke and volunteer assistant/goalie coach Dave Alexander are hoping to launch their new company sometime in July.
In doing so, Kerluke will not seek an assistant coaching job at Maine under Red Gendron, who was introduced as Maine’s new head men’s hockey coach Tuesday.
Kerluke said he had to make a decision between trying to continue his coaching career or “jumping in with two feet” into this new venture.
“I had to do one or the other. It’s risky but it’s very exciting,” said Kerluke.
The company, called Double Blue Sports Analytics, is what Alexander described as an “in-depth analysis system” designed to monitor a goalie’s play, which enables the goalie to break down his strengths and weaknesses.
“It is probably the most comprehensive analysis system of a goalie you could ever think of and the beauty of it is it is all done within seconds,” explained Alexander. “For a goalie coach to analyze [and document] a game, it would probably take five hours.
“This will be able to knock it down to 36 seconds,” said Alexander. “It’s quite cutting edge. It’s a first for the industry, that’s for sure.”
“This gives goalies their own specific video system,” said Kerluke who pointed out that they started the project a year ago to help their UMaine goalies.
Consumers subscribe to the system for a fee and download it to their iPhone or iPad. They could also buy a camera, but it’s not necessary, according to Kerluke.
The subscription will cost $250 per year.
They have a patent for the program and the patent covers goaltending in every sport.
“What is unique about it is whoever is operating the device [iPhone or iPad] can tag all of the goalie’s active sequences,” said Kerluke.
Tagging lists the specific sequence over the top of the video.
“After the game or the practice, the program will save all of the tagged sequences and eliminate any unused video [where the goalie is inactive],” said Kerluke. “Our next goal is to establish an automatic tagging protocol by the use of accelerometer technology.”
That would eliminate the need to have somebody operating the iPhone or iPad.
In the second phase, which will include the use of accelerometer technology, there will also be a sensor testing mechanism that will allow a goalie to run through 10 specific tests and receive a summarized performance score.
Kerluke said Jesse Moriarty, the coordinator of the school’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, has played an important role in their project getting off the ground.
“She has held our hand. Without her, none of this would be possible,” said Kerluke.
They have also hired a computer programmer, Tim Baker.
“He’s phenomenal,” said Alexander of Baker.
The idea stemmed from a comment made by a University of Maine fan at a Hockey East quarterfinal game against Merrimack College at the Alfond Arena during the 2011-2012 season.
“I was sitting in the stands videotaping our goalie, and I had two clipboards so I could jot down all of the data,” recalled Alexander. “This guy in a wheelchair was laughing at me and yelled out ‘There has to be an app for that.”
Kerluke took a beneficial course through the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development in Portland and said they have raised $100,000 in investment capital.