ORONO — Steve Abbott accepted a two-year appointment to serve as the athletic director at the University of Maine today.

Abbott, who has been the interim AD since September, was appointed by outgoing President Robert Kennedy to a two-year contract.

“I have been most impressed with Steve’s performance in this important leadership role,” Kennedy said in a statement. “He has proven to be an effective manager in a complex environment, an exceptionally capable fundraiser who inspires support, and a dynamic leader who fosters the appropriate balance in the lives of our student-athletes.”

Abbott is an Orono native and son of former football coach and professor Walt Abbott.

He is the former chief of staff for Sen. Susan Collins and ran in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 2010.