Bob Walsh, the men’s basketball coach at Rhode Island College for the last nine seasons, is expected be named the next head coach at the University of Maine.
A source with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified, said the deal was completed Friday after Walsh visited the Orono campus.
UMaine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech would neither confirm nor deny Saturday morning that Walsh has been offered or has accepted the position.
“We are still in the process of hiring a coach,” Creech said in a text message.
Other media outlets reported Saturday afternoon that Walsh will be UMaine’s next coach.
UMaine sources confirmed Walsh visited campus Friday, one day after Northeastern University associate head coach and former Stonehill College head coach Dave McLaughlin was in Orono to meet with UMaine officials.
McLaughlin was informed Friday that Walsh had agreed to become the Black Bears’ head coach.
UMaine is expected to introduce Walsh on Monday. He reportedly will receive a four-year contract that will pay him $100,000 to start with a $5,000 increase in each of the subsequent three years.
Woodward earned $100,000 per year.
Creech previously said the six-member committee being chaired by Associate Director of Athletic Development Seth Woodcock met for the first time on March 22. It took only 11 days to identify Walsh as the next coach.
The 42-year-old Walsh is a 1994 graduate of Hamilton College in New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology but did not play college basketball. He comes to UMaine from Division III Rhode Island College, where he directed the Anchormen to an overall record of 204-63 (.764 winning percentage).
Rhode Island College won six Little East Conference championships under Walsh, including last season, and claimed two Sweet 16 berths and one trip to the Elite Eight in 2007. The Anchormen have made eight consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
In 2013, Walsh was named one of 15 finalists for the 2013 Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year, which is presented annually to the top Division III men’s basketball coach.
Prior to RIC, Walsh was an assistant for seven seasons at Providence College of the Big East Conference under Tim Welsh.
He began his coaching career as a student assistant at Hamilton, then did a two-year stint as an administrative assistant at Iona College while he worked on a master’s degree in mass communications and public relations.
After that, he was an assistant for one season at the University of San Diego before moving on to Providence.
Walsh inherits a UMaine basketball program that is coming off one of the worst seasons in program history. The Black Bears went 6-23 and lost its initial postseason game in the America East tournament for the ninth consecutive year.
Woodward’s fate was sealed after three key players, leading scorer Xavier Pollard, Shaun Lawton and Dimitry Akanda-Coronel, requested transfers after the 2013-2014 season ended. Three players also left the program prematurely at the end of the 2012-2013 season.
The Black Bears, who have never won a conference championship or advanced to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament, went 117-178 (.397) in 10 seasons under Woodward.