Ben Guite was disappointed when he wasn’t named the head coach of the University of Maine men’s hockey team after serving as an assistant and then associate head coach of the Black Bears for the past eight seasons.
UMass associate head coach Ben Barr was named head coach, replacing the late Red Gendron, who collapsed and died while playing golf at the Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono on April 9.
But Guite is going to be a head coach this coming season in Maine at the helm of the ECHL’s Portland-based Maine Mariners after former Mariners coach Riley Armstrong has accepted an assistant’s position with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League.
The ECHL is the equivalent of Double-A baseball and the Mariners are affiliated with the NHL’s Boston Bruins. The AHL is comparable to Triple-A baseball.
Guite confirmed that he was chosen as the new coach for the minor league team but said he couldn’t comment on his appointment at this time per the request of Comcast Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based company that owns the Mariners as well as the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Guite explained that the company plans to put out a news release this week that will detail other personnel changes as well.
The 43-year-old Guite said he and his family, wife Kristen and sons Patrick and Maxime, will maintain their home in Bangor although he will find a living space in the Portland area. Kristen Guite is a teacher in the Bangor School Department and their sons are involved in sports activities.
Guite, a former UMaine hockey captain who scored a goal in UMaine’s 3-2 overtime win over New Hampshire in the 1999 NCAA championship game, was hired by Gendron after concluding a 13-year professional hockey career.
His career included 175 regular season games for three teams in the NHL in which he registered 19 goals and 26 assists as a checking line forward and penalty-killer.
He was promoted from assistant to associate head coach at UMaine on Oct. 14, 2015 and served as interim head coach after Gendron’s death from April 14 to May 12.
The Montreal native and seventh-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens appeared in 146 games for the Black Bears and had 47 goals and 49 assists for 96 points.