Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Mike Latendresse, who was a freshman forward on that 1993 Black Bears championship team, hailed Gendron's hiring as a step forward for the program.
"Red just has a great hockey mind," said Latendresse, now the head hockey coach at Messalonskee High in Oakland. "When the job opened, I thought we needed someone who knew the program and was well respected in the hockey community. Red will be phenomenal for the program."
Latendresse said Gendron, who speaks French fluently, had a great impact on his career. When he was being recruited by Maine, Latendresse spoke very little English. Gendron provided an instant contact.
"He helped me develop as a player," said Latendresse, who added that he spent countless hours in the video room with Gendron. "It's such a great step to have him back around, to get the program back on track."
Gendron's predecessor, Whitehead, was fired on April 9 with one year remaining on his contract. He had been the head coach for 12 years, leading Maine to seven NCAA tournament appearances -- but only one in the last six years. Maine finished 11-19-8 last winter.
Following the press conference on Tuesday, Maine will hold a small social at Alfond Arena. Then at 5 p.m., the school will hold a "Meet the Coach" event at Season's Grille in Bangor.
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at email@example.com