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The Maine Black Bears are the athletic teams which represent the University of Mainemarker. They compete in NCAA Division I athletics, with the majority of the teams playing in the America East Conference. The only exceptions are the ice hockey program, Maine's most successful program, which competes in Hockey East, and the football program, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Ice hockey

The University of Maine men's ice hockey program was introduced in 1977. The team has been successful and have won the Hockey East title five times, appeared in eleven Frozen Four, and won 2 National Championships. The Black Bears compete in the Hockey East conference, a very competitive conference including teams such as Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and New Hampshire. The program has produced many professional ice hockey players, such as Paul Kariya, Eric Weinrich, Keith Carney, Garth Snow, Mike Dunham, Dustin Penner, and Jimmy Howard. The team is best known for its 1992–93 season, in which the team only lost one game, finishing with a record of 42–1–2. The team is noted for its head coach Shawn Walsh, who coached the team for seventeen seasons. Walsh is credited with turning the team into such a successful program, as well as turning the Alfond Arenamarker into one of the most intimidating arenas in college hockey. Walsh died of renal cell carcinoma on September 26, 2001.

Football

Maine's football team competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. Previous to the 2007 season, the team competed in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The football program has produced a few professional football players, such as Pro Bowl linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who transferred to USCmarker after his freshmen year, center Mike Flynn, linebacker Stephen Cooper, offensive lineman Justin Strzelczyk, running back Montell Owens, quarterback Mike Buck, defensive back Daren Stone, tight end Matthew Mulligan and defensive back Brandon McGowan. Current Iowa coach, and 2002 AP National Coach of the Year Kirk Ferentz began his head coaching career at Maine. The team also received brief publicity when the Oakland Raiders selected wide receiver Kevin McMahan as the last player in the 2006 NFL Draft, affectionately known as Mr. Irrelevant.

In 2004, The Maine Black Bears defeated Mississippi State Universitymarker 9-7. This marked the first time that Maine defeated a Division 1-A opponent. 43,486 fans - the largest crowd to see a Maine football game- were on hand at Davis Wade Stadiummarker.

Basketball

The university's basketball team, as well as all other sports teams, participate in the America East Conference. The current Clemson Universitymarker head coach Jack Leggett also attended the university, as well as NBA head coach Rick Carlisle (although Carlisle transferred to Virginia and finished his college career there). A prominent current player is Houlton-native Mark Socoby.

The women's basketball team is particularly noted for producing one-time WNBA player Cindy Blodgett, who also served as an assistant coach at Boston College and Brownmarker.

On May 23, 2007, Blodgett was named the Head Coach of Maine's women's team.

The men's coach is , who worked as an assistiant coach under previous head coach John Gianinni.

The Black Bears' rivalry with the New Hampshire Wildcats is the longest continuous basketball rivalry between any two non-Ivy League schools: the men's teams have played each other 105 seasons in a row, from 1904-1905 to the present season (2008-2009.)

Radio and television

The current radio broadcast rights to all U Maine sports are held by Bangor, Mainemarker ESPN Radio affiliate WZONmarker. TV coverage includes Bangor's WABI-TVmarker (Most home football and basketball games and some hockey games). NESN also carries select hockey and basketball games (from American East TV and ESPN Plus). During the school year Black Bear Weekly is carried Sunday mornings on WABI.

In 2006 the University sold the advertising rights to athletic events to Missourimarker based Learfield Sports. Starting with the fall 2007 sports season, WVOM and WGUYmarker split radio coverage, WGUY carrying men's and women's basketball and select baseball and softball games and WVOM carrying football and hockey broadcasts. After the 2008 fall sports season, WAEI-FM became the flagship for all Maine sports.

Championships

National Championships

Men's Ice Hockey - 1993, 1999

Conference Titles

Men's Ice Hockey

Hockey East - 1989, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2004

Baseball

America East - 1990, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2005, 2006

Men's Cross Country

America East - 2004

Softball

America East - 1994, 2004

Football

Yankee Conference - 1949, 1951, 1952, 1961, 1965, 1974, 1982, 1987, 1989

Atlantic 10 - 2001, 2002

Women's Basketball

America East - 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004

Men's Outdoor Track

America East - 1995



See also

University of Mainemarker

External links




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