University of Maine at Fort Kent athletic administrator and men’s soccer coach Bill Ashby was honored as the Sunrise Conference’s Athletic Director of the Year over the conference’s recent Final Four basketball weekend in Concord, N.H.
The Lubec native is in his third year at UMFK, which is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Ashby led the Bengal men’s soccer team to the Elite 8 of the NAIA National Championships while the women’s team played in the opening round of last fall’s NAIA tourney.
Also during the fall campaign, the women’s volleyball team won the most games in school history and advanced to their first-ever Sunrise Conference title game.
Over the winter, the Nordic ski team sent a representative to the USCSA Nationals for the first time in program history while the men’s and women’s basketball programs had fine campaigns.
The Bengal women’s basketball team has won 20 consecutive games and is preparing for first-round play in the NAIA II Women’s National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, while the men finished 22-9 and advanced to the Sunrise Conference title game for the third straight year.
The institution ranked 31st out of 151 NAIA schools nationwide in the Final Fall NAIA U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup standings, released Dec. 20 of last year. Points are achieved based on each school’s finish in up to 12 sports — six women’s and six men’s.
UMFK also boasted the most outstanding scholar-athletes (top GPA out of all student-athletes in the Sunrise Conference in each sponsored sport) in women’s soccer and volleyball and men’s basketball while five student-athletes were named scholar-athletes during the 2008-09 campaign.
Smith takes Rutgers post
University of Maine defensive coordinator Robb Smith is leaving his post with the Black Bears to take a special teams coaching position at Rutgers University.
Smith spent seven seasons on coach Jack Cosgrove’s staff, also coaching the linebackers.
Under Smith’s watch, Maine was ranked in the top third nationally on defense in the Football Championship Subdivision in each of his three seasons as defensive coordinator. In his first season on the job in 2006, the Bears ranked first nationally in rush defense, second in total defense, third in sacks, fourth in scoring defense and fifth in tackles for a loss.
The Pittsburgh native played at Allegheny College from 1993-97 as a strong safety and was a three-year letterwinner.
Shibles earns WBCA honor
Bowdoin College women’s basketball coach Adrienne Shibles has been named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Region I (New England) Coach of the Year.
Shibles directed the Polar Bears to their eighth NESCAC title and ninth straight NCAA Division III tournament appearance in her first season.
Shibles’ 24 victories this season are the most by a Bowdoin women’s coach in their rookie campaign at the helm. Her team ranked second in the NESCAC in points allowed (53.0).