After nine seasons at Rhode Island College as head coach, Bob Walsh will join the ranks of Division I head coaches, taking over at the University of Maine as the 21st head coach in the school’s history.
Walsh spent seven seasons under head coach Tim Welsh at Providence as an assistant coach before taking over at the Division III school in 2005. Since then he has led the Anchormen with a 204-63 record and to eight straight appearances in the Division III NCAA tournament.
“Bob is a true student and teacher of the game of basketball, and shares his passion for leadership through his Dynamic Leadership Academy,” Maine athletic director Karlton Creech said in a statement. “Coach Walsh is highly respected in the college basketball community and ready for the challenge of leading and rebuilding UMaine’s Division I program.”
Walsh signed a four year contract, finalized on Tuesday, that will pay him a total of $435,000 in salary between now and when the contract expires after the 2017-18 season. He will be paid $100,000 in his first season. After that he will get raises of $5,000 in each of the next two seasons, followed by a $10,000 raise in year four; which will bring his salary up to $120,000. The contract terms were agreed to on Tuesday.
“I’m excited to begin the challenge of establishing a championship culture at the University of Maine as the leader of the men’s basketball program,” Walsh said in a statement. “I can’t wait to be a part of the excellent academic and athletic culture at UMaine, and to embrace the energy and passion of the community.”
Under Walsh’s leadership, Rhode Island College collected Little East Conference tournament championships six times; in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and most recently in March.
He will take over for Ted Woodward, who was let go on April 14 after 10 seasons at the helm as head coach. Woodward went 98-167 over his tenure and last won an America East conference tournament game in 2005.
Player departures marred the end of Woodward’s tenure. After the 2012-13 season, Justin Edwards transferred to Kansas State and Alasdair Fraser left to play professionally. After this season, sophomore Dimitry Coronel transferred to Bryant and third team All-America East junior Xavier Pollard left the school to pursue another place to use his final season of eligibility.
Walsh is also famous for his Dynamic Leadership Academy, which has been lauded by the coaching community, set to take place at the start of June. He recently tweeted that former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy would be joining for two days of the program and that it will remain in Providence. He also has been known to opine on the game on twitter @CoachBobWalsh and on his own blog.
This is not the first time Walsh’s name surfaced for a Division I job. He had been connected to the search at Marist last season before they hired Jeff Bower as their next head coach.
Ryan Restivo covers the America East conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.