University of Maine men's basketball players Vukasin Masic (from left), Adefolarin Adetogun and Stephane Ingo bring the ball down the court in a November 2021 game. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

New University of Maine men’s basketball coach Chris Markwood has added another veteran assistant coach to his staff.

Pete Gash brings 15 years of NCAA Division I experience to the Orono campus, most recently last season as an assistant at Wagner College in New York City where the Seahawks went 21-6 overall and 15-3 in Northeast Conference play en route to a berth in the league’s championship game.

During the season, Wagner compiled the nation’s longest Division I winning streak of 17 games and garnered votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

“We are very excited to be welcoming Pete Gash to our staff here at UMaine,” Markwood said. “Pete is a very well-rounded coach who brings a ton of experience with him having coached at every level of Division I basketball. He is a tireless worker, great relationship builder, and someone who knows what it takes to win.”

Before spending last winter at Wagner, Gash made Division I coaching stops at Florida Atlantic (2009-14), the University of Florida (2014-15), Tennessee-Chattanooga (2015-17), UMass (2017-19) and LaSalle (2019-21).

The Long Island, New York, native played prep basketball with NBA champion Andrew Bynum at The Solebury School in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration with a specialization in sports management from Lynn University in 2006.

Gash began his postgraduate collegiate basketball career as the video coordinator for former UMaine head coach Dr. John Giannini at LaSalle in 2007. He moved on to Indiana as a graduate assistant on Tom Crean’s staff in 2008.

Gash and his wife Alexa have two daughters, Valentina and Luciana.

“I’m extremely excited to serve the student-athletes at the University of Maine,” Gash said. “Over the years, I’ve had the chance to develop an authentic relationship with coach Markwood. When the opportunity presented itself to join the program, it was an easy choice to come to Orono.”

Gash joins Rob O’Driscoll as an assistant coach on Markwood’s UMaine staff.

O’Driscoll has 27 years of Division I coaching experience, having started his career in 1994 at his alma mater, Villanova University, with subsequent stops at Manhattan, Iona, Marist, James Madison and Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he spent the last six seasons, four as an assistant coach and the last two years as chief of staff for the Dragons.

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...