ORONO, Maine — Steve Trimper has exuded energy and enthusiasm while leading the University of Maine baseball program to two America East titles on the field and generating financial support for recent upgrades of the Black Bears’ facilities.
Trimper has been rewarded for his efforts as he recently received a three-year contract extension that will keep him in Orono through June 2016.
“It’s bad news for the deer and wild turkey population in Greater Bangor,” joked UMaine athletics director Steve Abbott, referring to Trimper’s passion for hunting.
“Steve’s doing a tremendous job and we’re very pleased with where our baseball program is going at all different levels,” Abbott said. “We’re very pleased to be extending his contract.”
The 42-year-old Trimper feels blessed to be able to coach at UMaine and live in Bangor.
“I’m very pleased and excited,” Trimper said. “I’d like to thank President [Paul] Ferguson and Steve Abbott for having the confidence in myself and my staff to lead Maine baseball for years to come. There’s no place I’d rather be.”
Abbott said Trimper will earn $80,000 per year, an increase of $2,500 over his previous salary. He also will receive $7,000 in “additional compensation.”
Abbott said that money replaces the allowances for a car and a membership at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono that have been provided to the five head coaches of UMaine’s “revenue sports” — men’s ice hockey, football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball.
That represents a change in how UMaine will account for those kinds of nonsalary benefits.
“That additional compensation is intended to recognize the demands that are placed on our head baseball coach in terms of travel, fundraising, recruiting, and identifying and entertaining donors,” said Abbott, who explained Trimper may spend the money however he chooses.
Trimper has guided UMaine to a record of 204-178-2 (.534) during his first seven seasons. That included America East championships, and NCAA Regional appearances, in 2006 and 2011.
Last spring, UMaine went 28-28 and was the America East runner-up to Stony Brook, which advanced to the College World Series.
“I have a lot of great people around me,” Trimper said. “It starts in the administration and also includes my assistant coaches and players.”
Trimper praised the support of baseball donors and the Friends of Maine Baseball group.
“Without those people in the fold, we’d have a hard time competing,” he said.
Trimper, who coached at Manhattan College from 1998-2005, has a career coaching mark of 376-353-3.
He has been the driving force in helping UMaine revamp its baseball facilities. Trimper helped facilitate the conversion of Mahaney Diamond to FieldTurf and the addition of new dugouts for the 2009 season.
More recently, he was the catalyst as UMaine raised more than $400,000 in private donations for the construction of the Paul J. Mitchell Batting Pavilion. The building, which is attached to the Mahaney Clubhouse, provides UMaine baseball and softball teams with a state-of-the art indoor batting practice facility.
“Steve has taken tremendous initiative during the time that he’s been here,” Abbott said. “You don’t have to look any further than the incredible baseball facility that we have.
“Overall, we’ve got the best college baseball facility in the Northeast,” he added. “Steve’s had a lot to do with all those things.”
Trimper said he will continue to set lofty goals for the program, including trying to reach the CWS in Omaha, Neb.
“I feel like we can build a lot more on the successes that we’ve had,” said Trimper, who is working toward building endowments to help finance different parts of the program on a permanent basis.
He also plans to continue reaching out to the community through speaking engagements and baseball-related events.