ORONO — Fundraising is a requirement of modern college sports administrators.

Red Gendron knew it when he signed a contract to coach the University of Maine men’s hockey team. At some point, he was going to be asking alumni and fans for financial support.

He said he wouldn’t feel comfortable asking others to do something he was not prepared to do. So the university announced Wednesday that Gendron is putting 5 percent of his annual salary of $209,000 back into his own program, establishing the Grant Standbrook Hockey Forever Fund. His initial gift of $10,450 will be matched by money previously pledged by Tom and Sally Savage as Maine seeks to establish a $7 million endowment for its hockey program.

“We’re using this fund as a vehicle to gain the full benefit of Tom’s generosity,” Gendron said at a news conference in his office. “I knew that there would come a time when I would have to start asking people for their financial contribution so that we could step this program forward and ensure its excellence forever. And so before I could ever feel comfortable in my own skin to ask people for money, I felt I needed to step forward.”

The Savages are matching the first $1 million in donations, including Gendron’s. Their efforts are targeting former Black Bear players, but anyone can donate to the endowment by visiting

umaine.edu/development/give-now. Endowment money is invested and the dividends are spent on such things as travel, recruiting and equipment.


Maine Athletic Director Karlton Creech said that some money will be available to the hockey team beginning next year, although the goal is to get the full $7 million within five years. So far, he said, the initiative launched in October is drawing plenty of questions if not dollars.

“We’re putting it out there and then educating people about what it is, how they can be involved,” Creech said. “The interest generated has been very hopeful and so now we’ve just got to turn that interest into actual donations.”

Gendron wanted to honor Standbrook, who was an assistant coach and chief recruiter at Maine from 1988-2008. He was the architect of Black Bears teams that won national championships in 1993 and 1999. Before that, he helped build title winners at Wisconsin in 1977, 1981 and 1983.

“He is the all-time greatest college hockey recruiter and the all-time greatest assistant in the history of college hockey. We here at Maine were blessed to have him. His name will live forever associated with this great program,” Gendron said.

“I think people will get involved financially based on what they can afford and what Maine hockey did for them.”

The university said Gendron’s donation, which will continue as long as he’s coach, is the largest ever made by a current coach.


“We’re so privileged to have a coach at the University of Maine that is invested in every way in the program, including with his own financial support,” Creech said.

CREECH ALSO confirmed Wednesday that the Maine football team has secured another big-money game at Boston College next season. It is scheduled to be played Sept. 5 and will be the Black Bears’ season opener.

Maine got $350,000 for this season’s game at Boston College, a 40-10 loss. Creech said next year’s payday will be “in that range.”

In addition, Maine has scheduled a game at Connecticut in 2016. Creech said he is still searching for another game against a major-college opponent.

“BC makes sense for us. It’s a bus trip, a game that has regional attraction, our fans can get to it,” Creech said. “We like that.”

Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:


Twitter: MarkEmmertPPH

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