Jordan Stevens, a 2005 Mt. Blue High School of Farmington graduate who went on to become an All-Colonial Athletic Association and All-New England defensive end at the University of Maine, was named his alma mater’s next head football coach on Tuesday.
The Temple native has been the co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Yale University. He will replace former coach Nick Charlton and be the first Maine native to guide the program since Rumford’s Walt Abbott coached the Black Bears from 1967 to 1975.
Stevens will also be the school’s highest-paid coach at $245,000 per year. That is higher than the $153,000 made by predecessor Nick Charlton after UMaine made a priority of boosting pay during this search, but it is still dwarfed by the conference average of roughly $400,000.
Stevens said he was “honored” to land the job and thanked UMaine officials and the search committee for “trusting and believing in me to lead the program I love.”
“Each day, we will work to be great teammates, honor those who came before us and build a legacy for the future,” he said in a statement. “Maine is my home and I will protect my home.”
Charlton left UMaine after three seasons last month to become the assistant head coach-offensive coordinator at the University of Connecticut, a Football Bowl Subdivision school. UMaine is a Football Championship Subdivision team, a notch below the FBS, which offers 22 more scholarships. Charlton went 14-13 overall during his tenure.
Stevens has a four-year contract. Two years will be tacked on if he has a winning CAA record for at least one season over the first three, UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph said.
He said UMaine’s six-member search committee pre-screened 20 candidates and whittled it down to five finalists with current offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach and interim head coach Andrew Dresner being one of them.
“Nobody matched his passion for the University of Maine and what it means,” Ralph said of Stevens. “Our players are going to see it and feel it.”
During the interview process, Stevens proved to be “very thoughtful, very insightful and extremely organized.” In addition to the other search committee members, Ralph said they also relied on feedback from “three football alums for their advice on the football side of things.”
Stevens spent four seasons as an assistant at UMaine, serving as the defensive line coach after being the assistant defensive line coach.
He left UMaine to become the defensive line coach at Yale in 2015 before coaching the linebackers beginning in 2018. The following year, he was named the assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator and he also went back to coaching the defensive linemen.
Yale went 4-3 in the Ivy League this past season, 5-5 overall, and the Bulldog defense led the FCS in third down conversion efficiency, limiting opponents to a 22.1 percent success rate on third down. Yale was also third in the league in sacks with 32 and ninth in the FCS in sacks per game (3.2). It was also 23rd nationally in rush defense, allowing 117.1 rushing yards per game.
Yale has won or shared the Ivy League championship twice over the past four seasons. Stevens coached three All-Ivy defensive linemen in 2017 at Yale as the team captured the Ivy League title.
As a player at UMaine, Stevens was a main cog in a defensive unit in 2008 which helped the team earn an FCS playoff appearance. He was named a captain for the 2009 season and graduated with a degree in business management in 2010.