PORTLAND, Maine — At the conclusion of the recent Maine Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Bangor, the group’s president, William Haggett, made note in his closing remarks of how valuable event coordinator and hall of fame member Dick Whitmore had been to the committee.
Haggett praised Whitmore’s time and efforts in gathering information about the nominees. Haggett went on to announce to the crowd that the committee was set to meet in the coming weeks about assigning a new role for Whitmore, who had been member of the board for the past four years.
That new position was announced Wednesday at the annual meeting of the board of directors in Portland as Whitmore was voted the Maine Sports Hall of Fame’s new president.
“To get the opportunity to be able to be in leadership of all this is very humbling,” said Whitmore on Thursday. “It’s something that will challenge me hard enough to make things happen.”
Whitmore will succeed Haggett, who will take over as the hall’s first vice president.
In his new role, Whitmore will head the hall of fame’s overall operations.
“It’s a lot of responsibility and detail,” he said. “It’s just about trying to get us to continue to move in the right direction.”
The former Colby College head basketball coach and Portland native had no immediate plans for his term, as his main focus is continuing the previous success of the committee and the event.
“We’re going to continue to work toward accomplishing the mission of the hall,” he said. “We have a great banquet up here and we are looking forward to continuing to grow and get better.”
Beyond the continued success, the No. 1 priority Whitmore stressed was the hall’s consistent commitment to celebrating the accomplishments of inductees and student athletes.
“We want to get ourselves in position to honor the best of the best with our athletes and through the student scholar program,” he said.
Before his election, Whitmore had served as the chair of the banquet committee and master of ceremonies for the induction ceremony. He also was involved in committees for fundraising, nominating, membership and long-range planning.
He will now oversee all of those committees in his new role, with the preparation toward next year’s banquet and inductions already under way.
“We’re constantly in motion here,” he said. “Each year there is a huge number of nominations, and that right there makes things complicated.”
Whitmore is no stranger to leadership roles, as he spent 40 years roaming the sidelines at Colby before retiring in 2011. He collected 679 wins in that span, which was good for seventh on the all-time wins list among NCAA Division III coaches.
He was also honored with the Division III Distinguished Service award at the 2012 Final Four by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.