ORONO — A standing ovation greeted Richard Barron today as he was introduced in the Pit as the next coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Maine.

Barron, 42, was officially hired Monday and spoke to a roomful of about 150 supporters.

“What is so exciting, is the passion and the excitement that has been not only in this building years ago, but Alfond more recently. Whatever role I can play in bringing that back I am thrilled to do,” said Barron. “I am very, very excited about it.”

Barron was charasmatic and personable as he expressed his reasons for coming to Maine at this point in his career.

He spent the last two years as an assistant at North Carolina State University, two years before that at Baylor and as the head coach at Princeton University before that.

Barron said his basic principle behind building success is improving a little bit every day.

“We’ve got to get better every day. Every day our players have to get better, stronger, faster in their workouts. We have to get better with our recruiting. Make better connections. Reach out and touch people,” he said.  “We’ve got to build energy. Got to build enthusiasm.”

Barron replaces former playing legend Cindy Blodgett, fired in late March after a program-worst stretch over her four-year tenure.