Harold Westerman, former University of Maine athletic director and head football coach, wanted to voice his opinion about the firing of women’s basketball coach Cindy Blodgett.
He cares deeply about the university he served for 31 years and did not agree with athletic director Steve Abbott’s decision to fire Blodgett, a Black Bear icon who led Maine to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances during a remarkable playing career.
He contacted the BDN because he said he wanted “to get the message out.”
“It’s a real disgrace the way the Cindy Blodgett situation was handled,” said the 93-year-old Westerman, who compiled an 80-38-7 record and won or shared nine Yankee Conference regular-season championships in his 16 years as the head football coach before becoming the athletic director.
“In the first place, she should have been given every consideration possible,” said Westerman. “She’s a wonderful girl and very, very good coach. I’ve listened to her many times.”
“I don’t understand how Abbott could arbitrarily dismiss her. It shows absolutely no class. That’s not the way the university operates, in my view,” he concluded.
Westerman, who retired in 1982, was instrumental in the addition of facilities and upgrade of other facilities during his tenure, and the university also added sports, including men’s ice hockey in 1977, one year after the construction of Alfond Arena.
Three years ago, he earned the John Baronian Award for Lifetime Contributions to football during the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston’s annual Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night in Burlington, Mass.