The University of Maine will offer its men’s hockey head coaching job to Dennis “Red” Gendron, a former assistant coach for the Black Bears.

A source close to the search said Maine has had an initial conversation with Gendron, who has been the associate head coach at national champion Yale the last two years, and he was receptive to coming back to Orono.

A formal offer will be made Saturday, with a press conference and introduction scheduled for Tuesday.

Gendron will replace Tim Whitehead, who was fired in early April after 12 years as head coach. Maine made the NCAA playoffs seven times under Whitehead but only once in the last six years. The Black Bears were 11-19-8 last winter.

Gendron was an assistant coach for Maine and legendary coach Shawn Walsh from 1990-93, reaching the Frozen Four three times. He was part of the coaching staff on the Black Bears’ team that won the national championship in 1993. Gendron earned his master’s degree in educational administration at Maine while he was an assistant there.

He then spent 11 years in professional hockey with the New Jersey Devils’ organization as a scout, assistant coach and head coach of their AHL affiliate in Albany, N.Y.