The statement of University of Maine men’s basketball coach Ted Woodward, who was fired on Monday after 10 seasons:
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be the head coach of the Maine men’s basketball team for the past 10 years, and be associated with the program for the past 18. My family and I have been blessed to be a part of the Maine basketball family, the University of Maine Black Bear Athletic Department, the entire university community and the community of Orono.
“I want to express the great appreciation for all of the wonderful people who have helped me and our program at UMaine during my time at the school. I am thankful for all of the tremendous support staff, university colleagues, administrators and fans I have been fortunate enough to be associated with.
“I am extremely proud of the Black Bear basketball program. I have put all of my energy, heart and soul into it during my entire career at Maine. I have enjoyed every minute of recruiting and coaching the young men who have gone through these halls as Black Bears, and I am proud of the many things we accomplished both on and off the court, along with the many things that these men have become upon their graduation from our program. Unfortunately, we didn’t win enough to achieve some of our goals. There are certainly some significant challenges and adversity we face, yet an abundance of rewards. I have been proud to come to work every day for the past 18 seasons — it has been incredibly special! It’s been a great journey that I will cherish forever.
“We have had some things go against us this year, and I respect [Maine athletic director Karlton Creech’s] decision. The program, and what is best for the program, is always the most important element. It has never been about any person or individual. Furthermore, I am highly encouraged by many of the young men in our program that are now growing into the core of our team. I think this is a team that will challenge for an America East Championship in the immediate future. We have great kids, tremendous characters, fantastic students and outstanding individual potential with a passionate work ethic. Black Bear fans will enjoy this group during their careers. As they grow, they will have a chance to be special, and I look forward to the future success of this program. I love Maine, and the entire Orono community, and will always be a Black Bear.
Finally, I would like to thank the young men who I have had the pleasure to coach, and the outstanding coaches I have [been] fortunate enough to work with daily. These people have given their all everyday to pursue success, and I am proud to have been associated with them. And last (but certainly not least), I would like to thank my family, my wife, Linda, and my children Jillian and Tommy. They have sacrificed so many things for my career and our program’s success — I love them very much and am very blessed.”