With Nick Charlton leaving the University of Maine to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Connecticut, UMaine director of athletics Ken Ralph will soon begin the search to replace him as head football coach.
The new coach will be UMaine’s third in seven years.
Joe Harasymiak guided UMaine to a 20-15 record during his three seasons including a Colonial Athletic Association championship in 2018 and the school’s first ever appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals.
He left to become an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota where he first coached the defensive backs and then was promoted to co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach.
Charlton, who had been UMaine’s offensive coordinator in 2018, was named to succeed Harasymiak within a week of his departure.
Charlton compiled a 14-13 record in his three seasons including the abbreviated four-game campaign this past spring. UMaine was 6-5 this fall with five wins in its last six games.
UMaine went 4-4 in the CAA and 10-10 in league play during his tenure.
There should be plenty of quality candidates for the job with or without UMaine ties.
Here is an initial list of possible candidates who all have UMaine ties either as players, assistants or both. They are in alphabetical order.
Pat Denecke: Denecke just completed his sixth season as an assistant coach at UMaine. He has been the assistant head coach-run game coordinator and offensive line coach since January 2019. He has also coached the tight ends. He previously served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Nevada and the offensive line coach at Bethany College in West Virginia.
Andrew Dresner: Dresner has been the offensive coordinator at UMaine for three seasons after being the wide receivers coach for a year. He was the offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach at Pace University (New York), the passing game coordinator-recruiting coordinator-quarterbacks coach at Merrimack College (Massachusetts), the QB coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Massachusetts) and the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Union College (New York).
Mickey Fein: The former UMaine quarterback and captain, who set 17 school records in Orono between 1995-98, is the offensive coordinator-wide receivers coach at Harvard University under former UMaine and Cincinnati head coach Tim Murphy. He spent 2008-16 at Lafayette College and was the offensive coordinator for the last eight seasons. He also worked with the wide receivers and quarterbacks. He was also the offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach at Murray State (Kentucky) and Tennessee-Martin and he coached the wide receivers at UMaine in 2002.
Corey Hetherman: He is the associate head coach-defensive coordinator-defensive ends coach at James Madison University (Virginia), which is currently one of two CAA teams in the FCS playoffs along with Villanova. JMU will depart the FCS for the Football Bowl Subdivision after this season so he is unlikely to leave. He is in his third season at JMU after leaving UMaine following the 2018 campaign. He spent four years at UMaine, serving the last three as the defensive coordinator while continuing to work with the defensive line. He was also the defensive run game coordinator-assistant linebackers coach and outside linebackers coach at Old Dominion (Virginia). He previously assisted at Northeastern and Springfield College.
Michael Ryan: He just finished his eighth season on the UMaine staff. He has been the defensive coordinator since 2019 and has also worked with UMaine’s defensive line, outside linebackers and inside linebackers. He has also been the recruiting coordinator. He worked with outside linebackers at Trinity College (Connecticut) and with safeties at Bates College and was a graduate assistant at UConn where he coached the defensive line and inside linebackers.
Jordan Stevens: The former Mt. Blue High School of Farmington standout and All-CAA defensive end at UMaine is the assistant head coach-co-defensive coordinator-offensive line coach at Yale University. He has been at Yale since 2015, first working with the defensive line and then with the linebackers. He worked with the defensive line for four seasons at UMaine and has been the pro liaison for players at both schools.
Bobby Wilder: The former UMaine quarterback from Madison was on the Black Bear coaching staff from 1990-2006, eventually serving as the offensive coordinator and associate head coach before leaving to become the head coach at Old Dominion. The ODU program had been dormant since 1940 and was resurrected under Wilder. He led them to a 77-56 record in his 13 seasons. After two years setting the groundwork for the program, Wilder and his Monarchs began play in 2009 and Wilder guided them to a 38-10 record in four seasons in the FCS including two playoff berths. The Monarchs moved up to FBS in 2013 and, in 2016, they went 10-3 and beat Eastern Michigan in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. But ODU went 10-26 over the next three seasons, including a 1-11 campaign in 2019. Wilder resigned after that season. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Boston College.