New University of Southern Maine men's basketball head coach Rob Sanicola. Credit: Contributed

Rob Sanicola, head men’s basketball coach at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish for the last 18 years, has been hired to the same position at the University of Southern Maine in nearby Gorham.

Sanicola replaces Karl Henrikson, who retired from the post in June after 18 years with the Huskies.

Sanicola becomes the 16th men’s basketball head coach in USM history after guiding Saint Joseph’s to a 275-190 record overall and a 140-78 mark in Great Northeast Athletic Conference competition since becoming head coach at his alma mater in 2003.

“I’m excited to get to work and for this new opportunity, and I am looking forward to immersing myself into the University of Southern Maine community,” Sanicola said. “I’m eager to get started, to get to know the team and to begin establishing the long- and short-term goals necessary for Huskies men’s basketball to fulfill its potential.”

Before becoming the Monks’ head coach in 2003, Sanicola spent four years as an assistant at Saint Joseph’s under former head coach Rick Simonds.

He also has served as associate athletic director, assistant athletic director and coordinator for intercollegiate athletics at Saint Joseph’s. Sanicola recently participated in the 2021 NCAA Inclusion Forum as a designee of the Maine Student Athletes of Color.

“He is an innovator on the court in his approach to the game and is a continual student of basketball, always striving to get better and improve the way the game is taught,” USM director of athletics Al Bean said. “In addition to his basketball prowess, Rob brings significant administrative skill to the table and has the ability to help provide greater support to our entire department.”

Sanicola, a 1999 Saint Joseph’s graduate, was a four-year member of the Monks’ men’s basketball team. As a senior captain, he helped his team score a school-record 26 wins during the 1998-99 season and earn a trip to the NAIA national tournament.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...