Waterville native John Huard acknowledges applause after his induction into the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame at the foundation's 57th annual awards dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York in this Dec. 9, 2014, photo. The University of Maine has named a new football fund after Huard to acknowledge his contributions to the college's sports program. Credit: Courtesy of Mike McLaughlin

John Huard is among the most notable players in University of Maine football history.

The former two-time, first-team Little All-America linebacker from Waterville played for the Denver Broncos and was later inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame.

He also was the inaugural inductee into UMaine’s “Ring of Honor” at Alfond Stadium on the UMaine campus in Orono.

In an effort to honor his contributions to the university, UMaine athletics, in association with the University of Maine Foundation, has established the John R. Huard Sr. Football Fund.

The fund has been created to honor Huard by establishing a generous endowment to directly support Black Bears football.

The Huard fund was launched with $350,000 in committed contributions.

“We’re excited to announce the creation of an endowed fund for football that honors a Maine legend,” UMaine Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development Seth Woodcock said. “The importance of endowment building cannot be stressed enough as we seek long-term support of our programs. With the help of generous early commitments, we are optimistic that the Huard Fund will grow to a level that will provide stable and meaningful support of our football program for many years to come.”

The university said the fund will focus on planned giving in support of the football program and will include bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts and other options, including cash or stocks.

“The Huard name has always been associated with excellence in football at UMaine,” UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph said. “This new fund establishes new ways for donors to support our ongoing efforts to sustain championship-caliber football in Orono while recognizing and honoring the players who made the program what it is today.”

Huard was a two-time All-Yankee Conference selection for the Black Bears and helped the 1965 team earn a spot in the Tangerine Bowl, the program’s only bowl appearance. He was named one of the top 20 athletes from Maine by Sports Illustrated, and in 1986, he was inducted into the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame.

Huard was drafted in the fifth round by the Denver Broncos of the American Football League in 1967 and enjoyed a four-year professional career with the Broncos and New Orleans Saints.

He went on to serve as the head coach at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. Huard guided Acadia to the Canadian national championship in 1979 and 1981. He also was the head coach of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts.

He was enshrined in the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...