The University of Maine has officially announced that Red Gendron will be its new head hockey coach. Gendron, a 1979 graduate of New England College, will become the fourth head hockey coach in school history.
Gendron served on Shawn Walsh's staff at Maine from 1990-1993. In his final season in Orono, the Black Bears went 42-1-2 and won the NCAA National Championship. That team is widely remembered as one of the best ever in the history of college hockey.
In the university-issued press release, Gendron credits his first time spent in Orono as life changing. "All of the wonderful things that have happened to us since that time would not have been possible if not for the University of Maine, Shawn Walsh, Grant Standbrook, and all of the champion players and coaches who were part of our first experience Maine experience," said Gendron in the release.
Gendron left Maine after the 1993 season to work in the NHL. Most notably, Gendron's fingerprints were on the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003 while a part of the New Jersey Devils staff. He garnered head coaching experience with New Jersey's AHL affiliate, the Albany Devils, as well. Before returning to the college game, Gendron was the head coach of the Indiana Ice, a junior team that competes in the USHL.
Most recently, Gendron was Keith Allain's top assistant at Yale as the Bulldogs won their first title in school history. Prior to that, he was an assistant at UMass-Amherst under head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon.
Gendron, who has his master's in educational administration from Maine, also played baseball at NEC and is fluent in French. He grew up in Berlin, NH before matriculating to NEC. He got his start in coaching as an assistant at his alma mater, Berlin High School, before moving to Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, VT to be that school's head coach.
Gendron was chosen after a month-long process where a search committee interviewed several candidates over the phone and in-person. "His personal passion for the Black Bears and UMaine is extraordinary and will no doubt unite the Black Bear Nation," said Maine President Paul Ferguson.
Bob Corkum was the Interim Head Coach while the process to find a replacement for Tim Whitehead was ongoing. The former Black Bear had been an Associate Head Coach on Tim Whitehead's staff for the past six years. It is not yet known for sure what will happen with his job or that of Dan Kerluke, another Black Bears alum.
Whitehead was fired after 12 years at the helm of the Black Bears program. He took over for Walsh, who was a legend in the sport and a hero throughout the state. Walsh had led the program to NCAA Championships in 1993 and 1999 and several other highly successful seasons. Whitehead's first few seasons saw tremendous highs, including appearances in the NCAA Championship games in 2002 and 2004.
Stay with SBNation Tuesday and Wednesday for more reaction to the hiring of Red Gendron at Maine. Jeff Cox will be in Orono Tuesday for continuing coverage. Follow Jeff on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.