The University of Maine stayed within Hockey East in its search for a new men’s hockey coach, selecting UMass associate head coach Ben Barr Wednesday.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ben Barr to the University of Maine,” said Maine athletic director Ken Ralph. “He brings with him an amazing track record of success in collegiate hockey. In a very competitive field of candidates, Ben stood alone with his comprehensive plan for building and sustaining success for UMaine hockey.”
Barr played collegiately at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he first met Ralph, who served as the school’s athletic director from 2002-07. Barr got into coaching shortly after graduating from RPI in 2004, with stops at Union, Providence, Western Michigan, and UMass over the last 15 years.
“I’m truly humbled,” said Barr. “There is a tremendous sense of responsibility and pride from all of the student-athletes and coaches that have passed through this program, and we will bring that passion with us as we build a program which reflects the values of the State and University of Maine.”
Barr, 39, spent the last five seasons in Amherst, serving as recruiting coordinator and coaching the defensemen. UMass coach Greg Carvel had touted his coaching staff as the Minutemen climbed the ranks of the college hockey world, culminating in a national championship in April.
“Ben has found success due to his work ethic and knowledge of the game, but what sets him apart, in my eyes, is that he is a high-quality individual and I will miss working with him on a daily basis,” said Carvel. “We wish him luck and thank him for everything he has given to UMass Hockey over the past five years.”
Barr replaces Dennis “Red” Gendron, who died after experiencing a medical condition in April.
Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.