If it wasn’t already the end of an era when Bruce MacGregor retired as Husson’s men’s basketball coach 15 years ago, it is now that he has also decided to end his 17-year run as the Bangor school’s varsity golf coach as well.
MacGregor, who coached Husson’s men’s team to 545 wins from 1968 to 1994, is also going out on a winning note with Husson University’s golf team, which has won five straight conference and state championships.
“I’ve been so blessed over the years that I’ve been doing this with so many good players and seasons,” MacGregor said. “There are several reasons for me to do this now, but a major one is we’re a very young team and I think, this year in particular, it would have been more advantageous for me to be on campus more often.”
MacGregor, who coached the squad of three freshmen, four sophomores and four juniors to a third straight trip to the NCAA Division III national tournament, divides his time between his native Maine and his winter and retirement home in Naples, Fla.
“Since 2000, when [wife] Christine retired as a principal at Fourteenth Street School, we made up our minds we wanted to retire here,” he explained on the phone from Naples, Fla., while gazing out at the fifth hole of the local course from his back deck. “I’ve had to kind of be the coach via faxes and e-mails in the springtime when I’m down here.
“I’ve put so much into this program and it’s so special to me, I don’t want to see it go in the wrong direction, so I think it should have a full-time, on-site coach to do it justice, be more proactive and be there in person more often.”
MacGregor leaves the golf program after compiling a 1,251-220-6 record in regular-season matches in his 17 seasons. He has also guided the Eagles (formerly Braves) to 10 (seven NAIA, three NCAA) national tournament appearances and four New England Intercollegiate Golf Association titles (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005).
The Eagles will play in the NCAA Division III National Tournament at Port St. Lucie, Fla., May 13-16.
“I’m not going to stay on through the nationals,” MacGregor said. “I have recommended a couple people to them and I think they’re looking into that. I think they’re on the right track and things will work out well.”
MacGregor has been inducted into four Halls of Fame: Husson University Sports Hall of Fame, New England Basketball Hall of Fame, Maine Sports Hall of Fame and the NAIA National Basketball Hall of Fame.
His departure will leave a noticeable void for many at Husson.
“He’s been coaching here for 41 years and I’ve been here for 25 of them,” said current Husson men’s basketball coach and former player Warren Caruso, who played basketball for MacGregor from 1985 through 1988. “It seems strange that day has finally come that he’s no longer going to be around here.
“I wouldn’t be here where I am today without him, both mentoring me as a coach and as a person.”
MacGregor, who is a member of the New England Intercollegiate Golf Coaches Association board, plans to remain active in collegiate golf in an organizational and/or legislative (NCAA) capacity.
UMFK Hall inducts foursome
The University of Maine-Fort Kent Athletic Hall of Fame inducted four former student-athletes last weekend and the 2009 class includes Terry Drown (Class of 1968), Robert Marquis (1977), Jeff Pillsbury (1987) and Shaun Tomblin (2001).
Drown was a star basketball player who was drafted by the United States Army and died in the line of duty during the Vietnam War in 1969. The school’s award for top scholastic athlete is named in his honor.
Marquis was a coach, basketball and soccer official, teacher, athletic director and administrator during his 30 years of service to Schenck High School in East Millinocket.
Pillsbury, an Academic All-American his last two years at UMFK, is third on the school’s all-time men’s basketball scorers’ list. He went on to be a successful high school coach, guidance counselor, athletic director and administrator and is currently the assistant principal and athletic director at Mount Abram High in Strong.
Tomblin is the Bengals’ all-time leading men’s basketball scorer and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He now lives in New York City and works in the financial field.
Reardon resigns at Saint Joseph’s
Deb Reardon, the women’s basketball coach at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish the last five seasons, has resigned to pursue other opportunities.
Reardon’s teams went 65-65 during her tenure and made two playoff appearances as members of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
UMFK teams up with manor
Members of the University of Maine-Fort Kent men’s basketball team teamed up with residents of Forest Hill Manor for a friendly game of modified basketball last week at the Northern Maine Medical Center facility.
This is the second time in the last three years the Bengals have taken part in the game, which involved Forest Hill residents splitting up into two teams having three UMFK players apiece. Residents designed their own team jerseys and posters which they presented to UMFK players.
UMFK men’s players have also worked with Fort Kent Elementary and Middle School students twice in the last several months to read books and participate in geography lessons.
The Bengals’ squad includes players from five different countries: the Bahamas, U.S., Israel, Serbia, and Croatia.