ORONO – When Jimmy Bump played quarterback at Cape Elizabeth High, the father of a teammate made an award-winning documentary film about the contrasting communities and competition between their fledgling football program and that of historically successful Mountain Valley in Rumford.

Four years later, Bump is a senior at the University of Maine who finds himself on the other side of the camera. He directs the three-man film operation for the Black Bears football program.

“I don’t know if we can give him enough credit for how much he has made our jobs easier,” said UMaine Coach Jack Cosgrove.

Bump and two apprentices film every practice and every game with two and sometimes three cameras. They take a wide-angle sideline shot from the press box at Alfond Stadium and an end zone shot from a scissor lift that rises behind the uprights.

The third camera goes with Bump around the field to follow specific drills or specific players.

Then, when the players break for lunch or dinner, Bump and his crew upload their video to computers, edit the footage so each play is seen first from the side and then from behind, and package it all into separate computer files so each position coach receives only that portion concerning his specialty. A typical practice, Bump said, includes between 150 and 300 plays.

“The behind-the-scenes part of this job, nobody gets and understands the amount of time (involved),” Cosgrove said. “While dinner is going on, Jimmy and his crew are putting those things (together) so a coach can bring his laptop into a meeting room, plug it in to the overhead projection unit and say, ‘OK, here’s today’s practice. Here’s the punt team.’ And all the punt team would be in the meeting.”

When Cosgrove played for Maine in the ’70s, the only time players ever saw themselves was in game films, usually a day or two after the event. Coaches made frequent use of chalkboards to diagram player movements.

Now, a practice that ends at 5:15 can be reviewed on screen at 7:15. Feedback is fresher and clearer. Mistakes don’t become habits. This year, for the first time, players can even study practice film in their dorm rooms or off-campus housing, said kicker Brian Harvey, who is taking classes for his MBA after spending a semester as a marketing intern for a software company in Boston that specializes in the technology used for analyzing and breaking down film.

Thanks to his extensive contacts in the coaching world, Cosgrove has visited the operations of the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami in recent years.

“You see how they do things and we try to do the best we can to emulate that with our limited resources and limited funds,” Cosgrove said. “We do it with students and they do it with paid professionals. We do it with what we can find.”

He found Bump in a class he taught until 2010, called Teaching and Coaching Football. Bump, who spent a year at the University of Kentucky before transferring back to his home state, was in his first semester at Orono.

“Coach Coz got me all fired up and made me realize how much I missed football,” said the soft-spoken Bump before a recent scrimmage. “I went to him after class one day and started asking questions, asked if there was anything I could do to get involved with the program.”

Handed a camera, Bump filmed spring practice that year. He stayed on for the fall and has continued with the program. A communications major, Bump will leave game-day filming to his assistants while he assists the coaching staff on the sidelines, holding up personnel cards to let Maine’s defense know, for example, how many tight ends are on the field.

Last year, he filmed at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the year before in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Next weekend he’ll be on the sidelines at Boston College.

“It’s been awesome,” Bump said. “I’m learning so much, just being around some brilliant football minds, and some motivated and inspired individuals, both coaches and players. It’s something I can definitely see myself getting into after college.”

Chris Gennaro of Saco, a spring graduate at UMaine, joined football operations after first trying out as a place-kicker. When two Maine assistants from 2011 were hired at Yale, they brought Gennaro along.

“I feel like I can write a letter (of recommendation) for them, just like I’m writing about the hardest-working players we’ve had on the football team,” Cosgrove said. “They’ve really been very special to us.”

Bump is grooming his replacements, Jordan Mitchell of Presque Isle and fellow Cape Elizabeth graduate Finn Melanson, a junior transfer from UMass whom Bump himself recruited.

“I didn’t even know that he knew I was transferring,” said Melanson, whose campus job in Amherst had been washing dishes. “I don’t even call this a job. It’s just fun.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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