April 9, 2013

Report: Whitehead fired after 12 seasons at Maine

By Jesse Connolly

The Black Bears advanced to two national title games under Tim Whitehead. (Dave Arnold Photography)

The Bangor Daily News is reporting that the University of Maine has fired head coach Tim Whitehead.

Since taking over behind the bench following the death of Shawn Walsh in 2001, Whitehead has gone 250-171-54 during his 12-season tenure.

“I have been fortunate to be surrounded with great players, coaches and staff during my time at Maine,” Whitehead said in a statement. “We have fought through a lot of adversity together, but we have always embraced those challenges head on. … The Maine hockey fans are the best in the county, and they have a lot to look forward to for next season.”

The Black Bears achieved far more success during the first half of Whitehead’s tenure, reaching the national championship in both 2002 and 2004. His record over the past five years is below .500 (96-102-28).

Maine finished eighth in Hockey East this past season with a conference record of 7-12-8. They were 11-19-8 overall.

The Black Bears were swept in the first round of the Hockey East tournament by eventual champion UMass-Lowell, where Whitehead served as head coach from 1996 to 2001.

Whitehead had one year left on his current contract.

The school, which is expected to make the news official at a press conference Tuesday, must pay him his $190,000 salary for the final year of the deal.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com