University of Maine women's ice hockey coach Richard Reichenbach (center), shown during a practice in 2013. Credit: BDN File Photo

The University of Maine has begun the search for a women’s ice hockey head coach to replace Richard Reichenbach, who resigned last week along with his assistant, Sara Reichenbach, who is also his wife.

“We’re looking for a permanent coach, not an interim coach or someone on a one-year trial,” UMaine director of athletics Ken Ralph said.

News of the Reichenbachs’ resignations emerged on July 29, just a month before the team will hold its first practice of the year. Ralph said he was not at liberty to discuss the reasons behind the Reichenbachs’ resignations.

Ralph and Samantha Hegmann-Wary, UMaine’s associate athletic director for compliance and senior women’s administrator, will head up the search committee.

“We have already reached out to a number of individuals who are interested in the job,” said Ralph, who added that they have also been contacted by several potential candidates.

“There has been significant interest. I have been very pleasantly surprised,” he added. “Practice begins in less than four weeks and we expect to have a coach prior to the start of practice.”

Richard Reichenbach, who joined the staff as an assistant coach before becoming the head coach nine years ago, compiled a record of 105-155-28, including a 72-117-24 record in Hockey East regular season games.

The Black Bears have had an impressive playoff run the past three seasons as they reached the semifinals all three years after upsetting higher-seeded opponents on the road in the quarterfinals, going 4-0.

The team has a solid nucleus returning after going 15-19-1 a year ago, 12-13-1 in Hockey East play.

Richard Reichenbach made $69,999.96 this past year and Sara Reichenbach made $44,607.58.

The school is working toward “making the compensation more competitive” among Hockey East coaches, Ralph said.

Bangor native Morgan Trimper, a senior center, is captaining the team.

Ralph held a video call with the players and said they are handling the situation well.

“They were very composed, very respectful and had great energy,” said Ralph.

In addition to the Reichenbachs, the other full-time assistant, Trey Flesch, who had been with the program for four years, left to take a similar job at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“We’ve had good success hiring coaches of late. We have a good group of coaches and we want the new coaches to join them,” Ralph said.

UMaine men’s hockey coach Ben Barr will begin his second season this fall and football coach Jordan Stevens and men’s basketball coach Chris Markwood will be in their first seasons.

Members of the UMaine men’s hockey coaching staff will be involved in the hiring process to help vet candidates, said Ralph, who also praised UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy for helping expedite the search process.