ORONO, Maine — University of Maine women’s hockey coach Maria Lewis remains on paid administrative leave, so assistant coaches Richard Reichenbach and Sara Simard will lead the Black Bears into their season-opening game at Boston College on Sunday night at 5 p.m.
Lewis was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 16 pending an investigation by the school pertaining to potential NCAA compliance and personnel issues.
“We’re still in the investigative stage,” said University of Maine athletic director Steve Abbott. “I expect it will take a couple more weeks before we have the report.
“Our assistants will continue to run the team and once Maria’s status is decided, we’ll figure out what to do next,” said Abbott.
Reichenbach and Simard had their first experience running the team this past weekend as the Black Bears lost a pair of exhibition games to defending Canadian Women’s Hockey League champion the Boston Blades. One of the goaltenders for the Blades was Brittany Ott, who starred at Maine before graduating last spring.
Lewis has guided the Black Bears to a 34-52-15 record in her three seasons.
They went 5-24-4 a year ago after a 2011-2012 season in which they set the school record for most Hockey East wins (11-8-2) and tied the school mark for overall victories (17-11-6). Lewis was then named the Hockey East Co-Coach of the Year.
Reichenbach is in his fourth season as the recruiting coordinator/assistant coach while Simard is in her second after spending three years as an assistant at Dartmouth College.
Simard is in her second stint at Maine after serving as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach from 2007 to 2009.
Lewis received a three-year contract extension effective July 1, 2012. She earns $45,000 per year.