Black Bears Form Search Committee for New Athletic Director

Orono, Maine — University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has announced the search committee for UMaine Director of Athletics. Robert Strong, professor of finance and NCAA faculty representative, will chair the national search committee comprised of faculty, staff and external members of the UMaine community.  

The search committee will provide the names of recommended candidates to President Ferguson this fall, with the hope of filling the position by early 2014.


“I believe the search committee will have a tough task because I expect there to be many highly qualified applicants for this position,” Strong says.


In September, President Ferguson and Athletic Director Steve Abbott announced that Abbott would leave his position this fall after three years of service. Abbott will be returning to serve as chief of staff to United States Sen. Susan Collins, a position he held from 1997–2009.

Abbott’s contract runs through December.


President Ferguson has charged the search committee with identifying the best candidate to lead UMaine Athletics to a new level of achievement consistent with the Blue Sky Plan, demonstrating excellence in management of college athletics at the Division I level, including strategic planning, facilities, disciplined budget management, fan development, and personnel management of the coaching and support staffs; excellence in development and fundraising; strong commitment to a culture of compliance and ethics; and strong commitment to nurturing the academic success of UMaine student-athletes.


Joining Strong on the search committee will be:

Richard Barron, head women’s basketball coach

Robert Dana, vice president for student life and dean of students

Eileen Flaherty, associate director of athletics for compliance

Leonard Kass, associate professor of zoology and chair, Athletics Advisory Board

Karen Kemble, director of equal opportunity

Kurt Marston, past chair, University of Maine Alumni Association Board of Directors

Jim Settele, director, School of Policy and International Affairs, and football faculty liaison

Seth Woodcock, associate director of athletics for development

Guy Whitten, president, M Club Board of Directors

Judy Ryan, associate vice President for human resources (ex officio)

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