Andrew Dresner is looking forward to his new job as the interim head football coach at the University of Maine. But he’s more interested in making the title permanent.
Dresner is the offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach and is replacing Nick Charlton, who has left after three seasons to become the assistant head coach-offensive coordinator at the University of Connecticut.
“It would be a tremendous opportunity for me to put my best foot forward and lead the program going forward,” Dresner said.
Charlton went 14-13 in his three seasons as the head coach at UMaine, a Football Championship Subdivision program. UConn is a step up in the higher Football Bowl Subdivision.
“Obviously, this is an exciting time for the University of Maine’s football program,” said the 33-year-old Dresner. “We have a lot of momentum with the way the season ended the last six weeks. We created a lot of positive energy.”
UMaine wound up 6-5 overall with its 5-1 finish, 4-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
At the top of Dresner’s immediate list of responsibilities is retaining current players. The team’s leading wide receiver from this fall’s team, Devin Young, has already said that he is transferring.
Dresner, who said some players had already decided to transfer before Charlton announced he was leaving, had an encouraging meeting with the players on Monday in which he told them the future was bright with the momentum from their finish and the number of young, talented players on their roster.
”We have a great opportunity to win championships in the future if we continue to develop our young players,” he said.
Dresner added that the players understand momentum is a “funny thing” in college football.
“When you get it, you need to sustain it. It creates belief and belief creates action. Right now at this stage in our program, we have a ton of it. And we want our current players to feel it and continue it just like we, as coaches, want to relay it to potential recruits and their families (during recruiting).”
He is confident he can be a successful head coach at UMaine.
“I have been coaching college football for 12 years now, going on 13. I have been asked to build position groups and the next progression is to build a football team, to lead the men in our locker room, our coaches and our support staff to great success,” he said.
He noted that he doesn’t see the UMaine head coach job as a stepping stone to a bigger program.
Charlton replaced Joe Harasymiak, who also left after three years to become the defensive backs coach at FBS school the University of Minnesota.
Dresner’s excited about the future in Orono, beginning with the upcoming improvements to the facilities courtesy of the $90 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation to upgrade the school’s athletic facilities.
“That is going to put us in a realm where we will be not only at the top of our league, but among the top facilities in the country [for FCS schools],” Dresner said. “We also have a tremendous nucleus of talent among guys with three, four and five years left of eligibility remaining. We are going to continue to develop them and add more pieces.”
Dresner lives in Bangor with his wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Their son is due in April.
Dresner has been the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at UMaine since 2019 when Charlton was promoted to head coach. Dresner was the assistant wide receivers coach at UMaine in 2018.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Union College (New York) in 2010, as the wide receivers coach. He was a wide receiver at Union after being a high school quarterback in Connecticut.
He was the wide receivers coach at Union before adding offensive coordinator to his title in 2011.
He was the quarterbacks coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2012, the pass game coordinator/recruiting coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Merrimack College from 2013-16 and then the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Pace University (New York) in 2017.
Charlton sent out a tweet in which he thanked all the coaches, fans, staff and “outstanding players” for their support during his seven years as an assistant and head coach at UMaine.
“I cherished my time from the first day as a position coach to my last day as the head coach,” wrote Charlton. “We have accomplished so much from winning championships to bringing the [Brice-Cowell] Musket back to Orono [for beating New Hampshire] but it will always be the people who make this place special. Black Bear nation is a family and always will be.”