Bean's Bearings – November 2019
We've made the transition from the fall season to our winter sports with all seven Huskies team are already in action or preparing for their first meet. Before we move on to winter I want to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of our golf and men's cross country teams as both won conference championships. The golf team will advance to participate in the NCAA National Championship which will be held in Florida in May of 2020. Coach Reg Grant was honored by the NEIGA with the Gordon McCullough Award for outstanding service to the New England College Golf community. Coach Ryan Harkleroad was named Little East Conference Coach of the Year as the Huskies won their fourth consecutive league championship. Field hockey enjoyed another strong season under Coach Bonny Brown Denico as they finished 10-2 in LEC regular season play and advanced to the semi-finals of the championship tournament. My thanks also goes to Jim Karcanes who stepped in to coach the women's cross country team this fall and did an outstanding job. We're pleased to welcome Rob Whitten to USM who has now joined our staff from the University of Rhode Island as head coach of women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
It was another great year academically for the Huskies and for the William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete awards dinner and ceremony. A record 223 recipients were honored at the Sheraton Sable Oaks in South Portland as the attendance grew this November 3rd to over 400 people, the most ever to attend by 100. The crowd grew so quickly that we had to change venues mid-week of the event. President Glenn Cummings was on hand to offer comments and to help honor our student-athletes who earned the awards and achieved an overall GPA of 3.09 GPA. Seventeen of the Huskies 19 teams recorded a team GPA over 3.0 for the 2018-2019 academic year. Women's ice hockey and women's tennis won the Remo Riciputi Award for the highest team GPA by a team sport and individual sport respectively.
As always, the semester seems to be flying by but we have a couple of significant events taking place before we break in mid-December. On December 6th, nationally acclaimed sports psychologist, Dr. Joel Fish, will join us at USM to work with our student-athletes, coaches and other members of the USM community. Dr. Fish works as a principal member of the team at the Center for Sports Psychology in Philadelphia. In his 25 plus years in this role, Joel has worked with the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers and 76ers as well as Olympic and US National Team members and countless colleges and universities. His conversation will focus on Gaining the Mental Edge and will include discussion of mental skills for peak performance, the psychology of winning, decision making on and off the field and mental health challenges and personal roadblocks including anxiety, depression, stress and coping skills. Fish will also assist with identifying warning signs and having difficult conversations. Having worked with Joel in the past, I expect he will bring some great information to us and assist with challenges in this area.
The following day, December 7th, will be a great day of activity and excitement at the Costello Sports Complex. Men and women's basketball, men and women's hockey and wrestling all have home competitions that day. The Huskies will take the opportunity on the 7th to have a celebration with our Special Olympians from the local area. This will be a festive event featuring games and activities, food and lots of interaction with our USM student-athletes and staff members. Our relationship with Special Olympics is strong and has been for many years. Last year, the Huskies won a national award (selected from 450 schools in Division III by Josten's and the NADIIIAA) for community service work with Special Olympics. This initiative is led by Samantha Allen, women's basketball coach and the members of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). They have been tremendous in their efforts and I'm certain that our Special Olympians will enjoy a great day of fun that will be a special moment.
During the last few weeks of the semester, we will take the opportunity to celebrate the holidays together as a staff and get a chance to recharge. I'm very proud of our staff, they do great work and plenty off it. They make a difference for our students and others and that's what really matters. Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful holiday season. Go Huskies!