Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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University of Maine head hockey coach Tim Whitehead looks on during a Black Bears game in January. Whitehead was fired Tuesday after 12 years at the program's helm.
Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer
Whitehead compiled an overall record of 250-171-54 in his time at UMaine, which followed five years as head coach of UMass-Lowell. He also coached at Middlebury College in Vermont and was a graduate assistant to Shawn Walsh at Maine in 1990-91.
Walsh, a colorful and often controversial figure, built the program to national prominence and won NCAA titles in 1993 and 1999. When he died of cancer in the fall of 2001, Whitehead returned to Orono.
He guided the Black Bears to the 2002 national title game in St. Paul, where they lost to Minnesota in overtime, and was named national Division I Coach of the Year.
Maine reached another national championship game in 2004, and got to the Frozen Four in 2006 and 2007.
In his first six seasons, Whitehead had a record of 154-69-26 and went to the NCAA tournament every year. The next six included three losing seasons and only one tournament appearance, last spring.
Whitehead's record over the past six years was 96-102-28.
His statement Tuesday pointed to successes off the ice.
"We worked hard to establish a culture of academic excellence and social responsibility that we can all be proud of," Whitehead said. "In addition, we completed the fundraising and construction of the $3.75 million Shawn Walsh Hockey Center in 2005 and the $4.85 million Alfond Arena Renovation Project in 2012."
Whitehead said he is most proud of the mutual respect among his players, coaches and staff, and that the program's future is promising.
"I'm confident this team will build on our strong second half of this season, and that they will compete among the top programs in the nation next year," he said.
Abbott said assistant coaches Bob Corkum, Dan Kerluke and David Alexander remain under contract until June 30.
There is no timetable to name a successor to Whitehead.
"I'm certain we will have a very strong applicant pool," Abbott said. "We think we've got a program with very talented players and we want to be certain we get the right person for our program."
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: