Defensive coordinator leaves UMaine football for University of Central Florida

Posted Dec. 31, 2013, at 7:04 p.m.

Paul Ferraro, the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the University of Maine’s football team the past two seasons, has left to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida.

Ferraro played an important role in helping the 10-3 Black Bears capture their first outright Colonial Athletic Association championship.

UCF is the nation’s 15th-ranked team in the Football Bowl Subdivision and will play No. 6 Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night in Glendale, Ariz.

Ferraro will replace Jim Fleming, who recently was named the head football coach at the University of Rhode Island, one of Maine’s Colonial Athletic Association opponents.

Ferraro is joining the Golden Knights for the bowl game but won’t be coaching.

Under Ferraro’s guidance, the Black Bear defense ranked among the top three in six categories in the 11-team CAA.

The Black Bears led the league in pass defense, allowing just 176.9 yards per game overall, pass defense efficiency (105.3) and fourth-down conversions allowed (28.6 percent); tied for second in turnover margin (plus-four) and were third in scoring defense (22.1 points per game) and total defense (342.2 yards per game).

In 2012, Maine led the league in scoring defense (19.5 ppg) and pass defense efficiency (107.6) and were second in pass defense (179.5 ypg).

Ferraro will be reunited with UCF head coach George O’Leary. He was the defensive backs coach at Georgia Tech when O’Leary was the head coach. They had also previously worked together at Syracuse.

“There wasn’t anything [O’Leary] had to sell,” said Ferraro in a story in AZCentral.com. “Starting with him, the kind of person he is, the head coach that he is, having the relationship I’ve had with him over the years. Then obviously what UCF has done with the program, the way he’s built it. It was a no-brainer for me. It’s going to be exciting to be able to work with them after the bowl game.”

O’Leary told CollegeFootballTalk that, “I’m very happy to have him on board. He has a lot of experience.”

Prior to coming to Maine, Ferraro had been the linebackers coach for the NFL’s St. Louis Rams for three years, the special teams coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings for three seasons and the assistant special teams coach for one year with the Carolina Panthers.

He also spent from 2001-04 as the defensive coordinator at Rutgers.

Freshman Glienke leaves UMaine hockey team

UMaine men’s hockey team freshman forward Zach Glienke, a former finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award in Minnesota, has left the program and is playing for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League.

He registered an assist in his first two games before Tuesday night’s game against Omaha.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Glienke played in Maine’s 5-1 exhibition win over Dalhousie (Nova Scotia) on Oct. 6 but wasn’t able to crack the lineup for a regular-season game.

He was a scholarship player at Maine.

“Zach is a fabulous young man,” said Maine coach Red Gendron. “He worked his tail off in practice and was a great teammate. I’d like to thank him for his time here and the way he carried himself.”

Glienke, who turned 19 on Dec. 2, had 32 goals and 32 assists in 64 points in 28 games for Eagan High School (Minn.) last season and was a team captain.

He recently said he was enjoying his time at Maine and felt he was improving.

“But I also want to play,” said Glienke.

He could transfer to another NCAA school, but he would have to sit out a year before playing.

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