The University of Maine football program is looking for an offensive coordinator – again.

Brian Picucci, promoted to offensive coordinator on Dec. 27, has taken a job in the NFL.

Picucci was hired Tuesday by the Detroit Lions and Matt Patricia, the former New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator and new coach of the Lions, to be an offensive assistant and quality control coach.

“I’m looking at this positively,” said UMaine Coach Joe Harasymiak. “We’ve got a lot of quality coaches here and this is a great opportunity for them.”

Harasymiak, entering his third season as head coach, plans to fill the position with an in-house candidate soon. He said an offensive coordinator needs to be in place before spring football.

“We have a system in place, we have a young quarterback, entering his second year as starter,” he said. “We don’t want to change much. We want to keep it in-house. You’ve got to have people who want to work hard here.”

Maine is also looking to replace its athletic director. Karlton Creech announced earlier this week he was leaving to take a position at the University of Denver. An interim athletic director is expected to be named soon.

Picucci, who had 21 years of college coaching experience, had replaced Liam Coen, who left Maine after two years to become the offensive coordinator at Holy Cross.

“We’re very happy for Brian and his career,” said Harasymiak. “It’s a great move for him. And it’s great for our program too.

“It shows our recruits and their parents and everyone else involved that we have quality coaches here.”

Picucci, 46, had been with the Black Bears the last two years, first as running backs coach and then as offensive line/run game coordinator last season.

The Lions were last in the NFL in rushing last year, averaging 76.3 yards per game.

Maine averaged 174.2 rushing yards per game last year, third in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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