Nick Charlton is shown in August 2019 before his first season as Maine’s head coach. Charlton is leaving for a job as the offensive coordinator at Connecticut, according to media reports. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The University of Maine will be looking for a new head football coach, according to multiple media reports.

Nick Charlton is leaving to become the offensive coordinator and associate head coach at Connecticut, the reports said. UConn is a Football Bowl Subdivision program that offers more scholarships and has better facilities than Maine, which plays at the Football Championship Subdivision level.

Contacted Sunday afternoon via text message, Charlton said, “I can’t comment at this time.”

University of Maine officials said they had no football news to report.

News of Charlton’s departure was reported Sunday by multiple websites that specialize in coverage of college sports. Connecticut is coming off a 1-11 season and on Saturday introduced former NFL coach Jim Mora as its new head coach.

The Huskies announced the hiring of four assistant coaches on Sunday, but did not include Charlton in the release. Connecticut has struggled in recent years, winning just four games in the last three full seasons. UConn, which has not defeated another FBS program since Oct. 26, 2019 (a 56-35 decision over Massachusetts), did not play in 2020 because of the coronavius pandemic. But the Huskies can offer 85 scholarships, compared to just 63 for FCS  programs like Maine, and have better locker rooms and facilities.

Charlton was promoted to head coach on Dec. 21, 2018 – becoming the youngest Division I head coach in the nation at the age of 30 – and led the Black Bears for three seasons, compiling a 14-13 record. He was making $153,000 a year. Charlton replaced Joe Harasymiak, who also left Maine after three seasons to become an assistant at the University of Minnesota, shortly after leading the Black Bears to the FCS semifinals in 2018.

Maine went 6-5 this fall, winning five of its final six games. The Black Bears defeated FBS program Massachusetts (35-10) and rival New Hampshire (33-20) in their final two games to ensure a winning season. It was Maine’s first win at New Hampshire in 20 years.

Charlton, who grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, arrived in Orono in 2015 as a wide receivers coach, coming from Boston College. He became the special teams coordinator a year later, then was named offensive coordinator in 2018.

This year, the Black Bears started 1-4 and lost starting quarterback Joe Fagnano to a leg injury in the first quarter of the second game of the season at James Madison. But Derek Robertson stepped in and led Maine to a 4-3 record until Fagnano returned for the last two games of the season.

Maine’s last two head coaches after the departure of longtime coach Jack Cosgrove following the 2015 season were assistants on the coaching staff. Those on the current staff who would be strong candidates for a promotion include assistant head coach/offensive line coach Pat Denecke, offensive coordinator Andrew Dresner, defensive coordinator Mike Ryan and special teams coordinator Jared Keyte.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.