University of Maine named Bob Corkum the interim head coach yesterday after firing Tim Whitehead earlier in the week. The Massachusetts native played for the legendary Shawn Walsh at Maine from 1985-1989. He went on to play in 720 NHL games for several different teams. He has served as the Associate Head Coach to the recently terminated Tim Whitehead since 2008.
There will be a national search for the new head coach. It is believed Jim Montgomery will be a front-runner. One of the star players on the 1993 NCAA Championship team, Montgomery is currently the head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL. He has college coaching experience as an assistant at RPI and Notre Dame. Montgomery is one of four finalists for the open position at Denver University.
Maine alum Scott Pellerin and former Maine Interim Head Coach Greg Cronin are also candidates. Pellerin is currently coaching in the AHL while Cronin is an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cronin had previously been the head coach of Northeastern.
Maine athletic director Steve Abbott has told several media outlets that he hopes to be able to hire someone with connections to the Maine program.
The following is the text of the open letter Bob Corkum sent to the community. Maine Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations Laura Reed posted it on the program's Facebook page.
"I wanted to reach out to all of the Black Bear supporters and fans in order to connect and address all of the concerns you have about Maine Hockey. Without a doubt, our program means the world to many people across our state and I take immense pride that I have been able to compete in a Maine Jersey and Coach some tremendous players the past 5 years. With every ounce of my being, I will bring back the energy and electricity to Alfond Arena that has been missing... once again it will be the absolute best place in the country to watch a hockey game.
Our players will be held accountable to perform at their absolute best every time they step on the ice, as Coach Walsh held me accountable each and every shift. You will see, a high tempo, hard nosed physical team who can play with discipline and charisma. I understand that their is an assumed connection with Coach Whitehead, but coaching concepts and philosophies differ. If my position becomes permanent, I would implement the culture and brotherhood necessary to instill the passion our players and fans are desperate to see.
We are all a family... And I plan to initiate a grass roots effort to do whatever is necessary to make each and every one of you feel a part of this team. This connection has been lost and our players need your support. We have to do this together, let's bring back Maine Hockey to where it needs to be.
Feel free to call or email me with any questions or comments, I would love your input and feedback, it will help me re-connect this program to our community and our great state. (207-581-1166) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sincerely, Bob Corkum."
Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow Jeff on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation for continuing coverage of the 2013 Frozen Four and college hockey news throughout the year.