Joe Fagnano, who has been the starter the last three seasons, has entered the NCAA transfer portal.
In this Sept. 10, 2022, file photo, University of Maine quarterback Joe Fagnano prepares to throw a pass during the Black Bears home opener against Colgate at Alfond Stadium. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The University of Maine’s football team will have a new quarterback next season.

Joe Fagnano, who has been the starter the last three seasons, has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

On his Twitter account, he thanked “everyone who has been part of my journey here.

“For my final two years of eligibility, I have decided to enter the transfer portal to explore new opportunities,” he wrote.

Fagnano completed 57.1 percent of his passes (208-of-364) for 2,231 yards and 15 touchdowns for the 2-9 Black Bears this past fall. He was intercepted six times.

He rushed for a career-high 296 yards on 93 carries and was the team’s third-leading rusher. He ran for three touchdowns.

The Williamsport, Pennsylvania, native concluded his UMaine career with 5,655 passing yards, seventh best of all time.

Fagnano was a two-year captain.

In his 25 career starts, he completed 59.7 percent of his passes (461-of-772) for 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

He also carried the ball 180 times for 535 yards.  

“Joe did a lot of great things here. He competed really hard,” said UMaine head coach Jordan Stevens. “He gave everything the program asked of him and then some.”

“So I wish him the best of luck,” Stevens added.

Fagnano was named an All-Colonial Athletic Association second team selection for the abbreviated spring campaign in 2021 when he completed 67 of 116 passes for 795 yards and eight TDs with just one interception.

The Black Bears still have an experienced quarterback in junior Derek Robertson, who replaced the injured Fagnano (high ankle sprain) in the fall of 2021 and completed 121 of 238 passes for 1,505 yards and 12 TDs. He was intercepted four times.

He started seven games before Fagnano returned.

“We have a good quarterback room. We have plenty of depth,” Stevens said. “I feel good about those guys and the work they’ve put in.”

“The fact Derek has experience is huge,” added Stevens who also has a quarterback in his incoming recruiting class.”I think highly of Derek and his leadership ability. The rest of the room is guys who have practiced really well and have shown they have the talent to play on Saturdays.”

The other quarterbacks are former Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year Ayden Pereira, who will be a redshirt freshman; first team All-Eastern Pennsylvania and conference player of the year Anthony Harris, who is a junior; and sophomore Jack Kelley, a native of Pembroke, Massachusetts., who captained the Hebron Academy football team.

Fagnano’s predecessor at UMaine, Chris Ferguson, also transferred after being a three-year starter.

Ferguson transferred to Football Bowl Subdivision team Liberty (Virgina.) where he was the backup for one season to Malik Willis, who is now with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Ferguson then moved on to Football Championship Subdivision team and fellow CAA member Towson (Maryland), where he was the starter for the 2021 fall season.

The Football Bowl Subdivision is a notch above the Football Championship Subdivision, having 85 scholarships compared with the FCS’ 63 and more resources.