ORONO, Maine — University of Maine head men’s ice hockey coach Red Gendron has signed a two-year contract extension, Director of Athletics Karlton Creech announced Friday.
The terms of the extension, which runs through the 2019 season, remain unchanged from the current contract.
When Gendron returned to UMaine as head coach in May 2013, he signed a four-year contract running through the 2016-2017 season for $205,000 a year .
Gendron has compiled a 37-56-13 record as the head coach at Maine and his current team is 7-19-6 overall, 4-12-2 in Hockey East.
Despite Gendron’s record, including just 22 wins over the last 77 games (22-46-9), Creech said he has confidence in Gendron and his ability to build the program.
“We believe in what Red is doing and how he is leading the program,” said Creech. “There are so many positive things going on in the program. We certainly would love to see the won-loss record be better but Red is building the program the right way and we want to make sure he has the opportunity to continue that.”
Creech said Gendron excels in a lot of areas including character and integrity and it’s important to look beyond one individual season.
“When you look at Red’s vision for the program and what he’s trying to do, we’re very confident in the way he is going about things and that success on the ice will certainly follow soon,” Creech said.
“We want to be very competitive from a won-loss standpoint and we certainly believe Red can get us there,” he added.
“It is an honor to coach at this outstanding university and to work with so many dedicated faculty, administrators, staff and, of course, with dedicated alumni and fans who support us,” Gendron said in a news release. “The magnificent young men we are charged with recruiting, coaching and mentoring to hockey success and toward a degree make this job one of the greatest in the world. To be afforded this opportunity to continue implementing our plan for ultimate and consistent success is something for which I am extremely grateful.”
Contacted later Friday morning for further comments, Gendron preferred not to elaborate.
“I’m delighted with the extension but my main focus is on this team right now,” said Gendron. “I have a job to do. It’s not about me personally. I’m worried about playing a game tonight.”
Maine is hosting Merrimack in a pair of Hockey East games on Friday and Saturday evenings.
This is Gendron’s second stint at the University of Maine.
He first came to the program in the fall of 1990, serving as an assistant coach for three seasons. He was a member of the 1993 NCAA
Division I national championship staff.
The 58-year-old Gendron has spent 34 years coaching hockey and has had considerable success at every level.
The Berlin, New Hampshire, native replaced Tim Whitehead as the head coach at Maine after spending two seasons as the associate head coach under Keith Allain at Yale University.
Gendron helped lead the Bulldogs to their first NCAA championship in 2013.
He had previously been an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts from 2005 to 2011 and was part of the staff that led the Minutemen to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, the program’s only appearance.
He also spent 11 years coaching in the New Jersey Devils organization, serving as assistant coach with the Devils when they won the 1995 Stanley Cup.
He went on to serve as a head coach and assistant coach of their American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany River Rats, when the parent team won two more Stanley Cups in 2000 and 2003.
The River Rats went on to two conference finals when Gendron was an assistant there.
Maine enters its final home series of the regular season in 11th place in 12-team Hockey East. The Bears are one point behind Merrimack, two points behind ninth-place Connecticut and three behind New Hampshire, which is eighth and occupies the final home ice slot for the first round of the best-of-three playoffs.