University of Maine defensive coordinator Corey Hetherman (left), pictured with former Black Bears star Trevor Bates in 2016. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

Only hours after the news broke that University of Maine football head coach Joe Harasymiak is taking a position at the University of Minnesota, a Black Bears assistant is moving on.

Corey Hetherman, who spent the past three seasons as UMaine’s defensive coordinator, has accepted the same position at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. James Madison competes with UMaine in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Head coach Curt Cignetti, who recently took the James Madison position after serving as the head coach at Elon (also of the CAA), made the announcement Thursday afternoon.

“I’m extremely excited to add Corey Hetherman to the staff as our defensive coordinator,” Cignetti said in a JMU news release. “He has a track record for success at Maine. They played great defense this year, being number one against the run. His scheme presented a lot of problems in preparation. He’s extremely knowledgeable and comes highly recommended. Corey is an excellent recruiter and he’ll do a great job for us.”

Hetherman spent four seasons at UMaine and engineered a defense that ranked among the Football Championship Subdivision leaders during the Black Bears’ record-setting 10-4 season.

UMaine ranked No. 1 in the country in rushing defense (79.2 yards per game) and led the CAA in five other categories, including sacks (47, second in the FCS), yards per carry (2.4), interceptions (18) and fumbles recovered.

The Black Bears also were proficient on third down (.284 opponent success rate) and finished fourth in the country in total defense (313.1 ypg).

Hetherman helped produce two All-Americans, linebacker Sterling Sheffield and cornerback Manny Patterson, who were among six All-CAA selections. That group also included first-team linebacker Kayon Whitaker.

Hetherman began his coaching stint at UMaine in 2015 as the defensive line coach.

He previously worked one season at Pace University and two years at Old Dominion University, after having spent one season at Northeastern University.

Hetherman was a three-year starter at quarterback at Division III Fitchburg (Mass.) State and played two years professionally, one in Australia and the other in Germany. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Springfield College and one year in a German pro league.

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Pete Warner

Pete is a Bangor native who graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1980. He earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He has been a full-time member of the Bangor...