Tim Whitehead out as head coach of Maine

Tim Whitehead celebrating happier times in Orono. The 12th year head coach was relieved of his duties today. - Getty Images

Multiple media outlets are reporting the University of Maine has fired head coach Tim Whitehead after 12 seasons at the helm of the Black Bears hockey program. An announcement will be made at 4 p.m. this afternoon. He was fired with one year left on his contract that was paying him $190,000.

Whitehead took over for the legendary Shawn Walsh who passed away in 2001 from cancer. The first few years of the Whitehead regime went smoothly, advancing to the NCAA Tournament with runs to the championship game in 2002 and 2004. Even with NHL caliber players in recent years, the depth wasn't there and there were a myriad of issues that contributed to a lack of NCAA Tournament appearances.

Jim Montgomery, the head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL, will be the leading candidate to replace Whitehead. He was on the legendary 1993 NCAA Championship team that went 42-1-2. He has previous college coaching experience as an assistant at Notre Dame and RPI.

Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation. Jeff will have a more in-depth story following the conclusion of the press conference.

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