Ex-UMaine coach Blodgett hired as Rhode Island assistant coach

Posted June 20, 2011, at 5:12 p.m.
Last modified June 21, 2011, at 12:25 p.m.
Former UMaine women's basketball coach Cindy Blodgett has been hired as an assistant at the University of Rhode Island.
AP File Photo
Former UMaine women's basketball coach Cindy Blodgett has been hired as an assistant at the University of Rhode Island.
Former UMaine women's basketball coach Cindy Blodgett takes questions from a packed room of journalists at Paddy Murphy's bar in downtown Bangor on March 31, a couple of days after she was fired by the university. Blodgett has been hired as an assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island.
BDN File Photo
Former UMaine women's basketball coach Cindy Blodgett takes questions from a packed room of journalists at Paddy Murphy's bar in downtown Bangor on March 31, a couple of days after she was fired by the university. Blodgett has been hired as an assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island.

KINGSTON, R.I. — Cindy Blodgett, who was fired in March after four years as the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Maine, has been hired as an assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island.

URI media relations coordinator Jodi Pontbriand said Blodgett signed her contract on Monday.

Blodgett is the second assistant hired by head coach Cathy Inglese within the last 10 days.

Stephanie Tobey was hired last week. Kelly Morrone is the other assistant, and Eric Chapman has been promoted from assistant to the team’s director of player development.

Morrone and Chapman will be in their second seasons beginning this fall.

Inglese, who has 409 career wins in 24 seasons as a head coach after successful stints at Vermont and Boston College, will begin her third season at URI in the fall. Her Rams have gone 16-41 the past two seasons, including a 3-25 mark in the Atlantic-10.

Inglese, Blodgett and the other staff members will be trying to lead the Rams to their first winning season since they went 16-13 during the 2003-04 season. They have gone 61-142 over the past seven seasons, including six seasons with 20 or more losses.

However, Inglese has a proven track record.

She led Boston College to a 273-179 record, seven NCAA tournament appearances and one women’s NIT berth in her 15 years at Chestnut Hill after going 120-74 in seven seasons at Vermont.

“Cindy brings a great basketball background to our program,” said Inglese in a press release. “She had a tremendously successful playing career — at both the collegiate and WNBA levels — and this is something that our players will really learn from. I also think we can capitalize on her experience as a head coach at Maine as she is familiar with the rebuilding process.”

Repeated messages left on Blodgett’s cell phone were not returned.

Blodgett compiled a record of 24-94 in her four seasons at Maine including a program-worst 4-25 mark this past season. That followed an 8-21 campaign in 2009-2010.

Former Maine athletic director Blake James negotiated a two-year contract extension for Blodgett just before he left to become the senior associate athletic director for external affairs at the University of Miami in September 2010.

It would have carried her through the 2012-2013 season, but current athletic director Steve Abbott decided to fire her in March, saying, “Cindy worked incredibly hard as a coach, was a very determined individual, but unfortunately the results on the court are not what we need with the program and I had to make the decision to replace her.”

He replaced her with former Princeton University women’s head coach and Baylor and North Carolina State assistant Richard Barron.

Blodgett received a buyout of $109,772 from the university.

Blodgett, a Clinton native, is a former UMaine women’s basketball star and All-American who scored 3,005 career points. She also led Lawrence High School of Fairfield to four straight state Class A titles while scoring a state record 2,596 points.

During her Black Bear playing days, Blodgett became just the second woman in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring for two consecutive seasons.

Blodgett, who was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame in 2003, was the sixth overall pick in the 1998 WNBA draft and spent one season with the Cleveland Rockers and three with the Sacramento Monarchs before finishing her career in Korea and France.

She landed her first coaching job in 1999 as an assistant at Boston University before joining the staff at Brown University in Providence, R.I., in 2005.

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