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Karlton Creech is making big Black Bear paw prints in Orono

December 30, 2016

Few University of Maine Athletic Directors in recent memory have been able to shape the future of Black Bear athletics as much as current boss, Karlton Creech. Now with baseball coach Steve Trimper heading to Florida, where the grass is indeed greener, Creech might have the chance to make another long term hire.

 

Unlike his recent predecessors, Creech is earning his money. Steve Abbot only bothered to spend enough time on campus to figure out Cindy Blodgett was in way over her head. Blake James was a wimpy buffoon who wasn’t respected by most coaches, media or boosters. But Creech has been active and has made a flurry of impressive hires and personnel moves since landing the gig in early 2014.

 

He hired men’s basketball head coach Bob Walsh and football head coach Joe Harasymiak, who replaced local legend Jack Cosgrove. “Coach H” just happens to be the youngest D-1 coach in the nation.

Cosgrove and softball coach Lynn Coutts moved up to administrative positions, while Creech hired Lynn’s hubby Mike to coach softball.

 

He was able to work with fantastic women’s basketball coach Richard Barron on a contract extension when everyone, including me, assumed Barron would make a well-deserved move up to a power conference.

 

Creech didn’t hire hockey coach Red Gendron, but he did show testicular fortitude by extending Gendron’s contract when the won/loss record didn’t support the decision. Creech took a look at the talent being recruited by Gendron and his staff and put his faith in that the once proud flagship program will soon rise again.

 

Now he’ll likely hire the first new baseball coach at U Maine in more than a decade.

 

In three short years that’s a lot of paw prints for one person to leave on the Black Bear athletic program.

 

I suspect Creech will depart around the end of the school year. His contract is up in February of 2017 and he and his wife Staci recently sold their home and are now renting. Staci is perhaps the state’s best female golfer and if you take a look outside right now you can see Maine is not a good home state for that kind of golf talent.

 

But if he leaves, or stays a bit longer, he has done a great job and his tenure will have a long lasting impact on the school. If he hires a new baseball coach, that’s just one more chapter of the lasting legacy of Karlton Creech at U Maine, which the B-L-U-E faithful will feel for years to come.

Jeff Solari is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live on DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.

 

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