Travers Evans, who has been the assistant men’s soccer coach at the University of Maine for four seasons, is expected to be named the Black Bears’ new head coach today.
Evans will replace Scott Atherley, who had the dual role of men’s and women’s coach last fall and has remained as the women’s coach.
Evans is the favorite from a finalist pool that includes former Bear player Pat Laughlin, the head coach at Champlain (Junior) College in Burlington, Vt., and Ray Smith, the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, an NCAA Division III school.
Evans is an Exeter, N.H. native who played his college soccer at Northeastern University and Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire.
He coached the Maine Olympic Development Program’s under-15 boys team a year ago.
Evans, who has a biology degree from the University of Maine (1997), actually served as the men’s head coach last fall when scheduling conflicts had Atherley coaching the women’s team.
Heisten downplays rumors
Rumors that University of Maine sophomore left winger Barrett Heisten is about to sign with the Buffalo Sabres are premature according to Heisten.
“There’s nothing [to report] at this time,” said Heisten, a first round draft pick of the Sabres last June. “I’m just finishing up my schoolwork right now. I’m still a Black Bear.
“I’m going to think about it over the summer, see what my options are and see what [the Sabres] want to do,” said Heisten, who was Maine’s second-leading scorer this past season with 13 goals and 24 assists in 37 games.
“I could come back and have a great junior year or the Sabres may want me to make the jump. I have no idea at this time,” added Heisten, a top-notch power forward. “I’ll discuss it with my family and my friends and see what’s best for me and my family.”
Sophomore defenseman Doug Janik, a second round selection of the Sabres, may also be facing a similar decision.
“I’ll start thinking about it more in a couple of weeks,” said Janik, who had six goals and 14 assists in 36 games. “It has only been a week since the season ended. I’m just trying to relax. The North Dakota game (a 2-0 loss in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals) is still in my head. I want to be really clear-minded and focused when I make a decision.”
Heisten and Janik both said they enjoy playing at Maine and they feel the Bears can make another run at the NCAA title.
Maine wound up 27-8-5 including the loss to eventual national champion North Dakota. Maine were 31-6-4 in winning the 1999 national championship.
“We’ll definitely have a good team next year. We’ll have a guy like [Matt] Yeats back in goal; so many of our young forwards stepped up big in the playoffs and the defense will be solid. And Grant [assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Grant Standbrook] does a tremendous job bringing in guys who can play right away,” said the smooth-skating Janik, who was hampered in the playoffs by two groin pulls.
Maine will open the season at home against North Dakota in the battle of the last two national champions.
“It’ll be a great way to open the season. You couldn’t ask for too much more,” said Janik.
Mattessich will remain at UMaine
Dino Mattessich, the senior associate athletic director at the University of Maine, withdrew his name from contention for the University of New Hampshire athletic director’s job earlier this week.
He was a finalist.
“I just did not have a comfort level with it. I didn’t feel that the support would be there to do what I felt needed to be done,” said Mattessich. “I have a good situation here.”
USM cross country squad honored
The University of Southern Maine women’s cross country team has been designated an Academic All-America team for the fifth time in the last seven years by the Division III Cross Country Coaches Association.
In addition, Jennifer Ditzel of Charleston, Hollie Harnish of Bangor and Jessica Short of Bennington, Vt., earned individual citations as Academic All-Americans.