University of Maine head football coach Jordan Stevens is pictured during his time with Yale University. The Temple native and former UMaine standout was named UMaine's coach on Tuesday. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

Jordan Stevens’ parents took out a $15,000 loan so he could attend Bridgton Academy after he graduated from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. His dream was to play football at the University of Maine, but he needed another productive year.

The Temple native excelled at the prep school and earned a scholarship to UMaine, where he was an All-Colonial Athletic Association and All-New England defensive end and was elected a captain for his senior year.

The 34-year-old will be able to repay that loan after being named the head coach at UMaine on Tuesday, earning a four-year contract that will pay him $245,000 per year with two additional years if he has at least one winning CAA season in his first three.

Stevens had been the assistant head coach-co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Yale University. He comes into a program that has tasted success in recent years, winning the CAA title in 2018 and reaching the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals for the first time in program history, going 7-1 in the CAA and 10-4 overall that season.

UMaine has gone 10-10 in CAA play since then, although the team finished with five wins in its last six games this season under third-year head coach Nick Charlton, who left to become the assistant head coach-offensive coordinator at Football Bowl Subdivision team UConn.

“We are going to be a tough, disciplined program that competes in every game,” Stevens said. “We will do a great job preparing for our opponents. Results will come from that.”

He is confident he can recruit the players he needs to compete for playoff berths every year, saying the future upgrades to the football facilities thanks to a $90 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation will definitely be beneficial in recruiting.

He said his teams will be “sound” defensively, getting after quarterbacks while giving them complex coverages to analyze. On offense, he wants a vertical passing game within a creative scheme.

“The challenges of being a coach are multifaceted,” Stevens said. “It requires you to be a dynamic person, one who can schematically work within the game, recruit, build relationships and develop young men.

Ken Ralph, UMaine’s director of athletics, said he wants the football program to become a consistent winner and feels Stevens can deliver that, citing his passion for the university as one of the major factors in the search committee’s decision to offer him the job.

“We’ve had good years interspersed with more modest records,” Ralph said. “I want to find a way to sustain excellence.”

It was an unforgettable day for former UMaine head coach and current Colby College coach Jack Cosgrove, who was “fired up” at the news, saying it was one of the toughest moments of his career when Stevens left UMaine to coach at Yale.

“He is incredibly organized and a great recruiter. He is a great evaluator of talent,” Cosgrove said. “He does a great job establishing relationships with recruits and their families. He is able to sell them on what we have to offer.”

Cosgrove said he will never forget the 2008 season when Stevens helped lead the Black Bears to an FCS playoff berth despite a 2-2 start. They lost at Richmond 44-17 in the fourth game of the season and one of the players didn’t seem bothered, angering Stevens.

“We, the coaches, weren’t in the locker room. But, through the walls, we could hear Jordan yelling. He straightened out the player and the team,” he said. We went on to win our next seven games and make the playoffs. No one had such an impact on our team than Jordan had.”

Stevens and his wife, Ellen, have two children, a 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Noella, and a 13-week old son Carson. He said his first order of business will be to meet with the players and that another part of his job will be to interact with the community.

“This means the world to me. I am really going to lead with my heart,” he said. “To work so hard just to get to the University of Maine, to have the success I had as a player and now to go through the process as a coach has been even more rewarding.”