For a few years now, it seemed as if UMass associate head coach Ben Barr always was a finalist but never got the final nod for every college hockey coaching opening that came up in the Northeast.
Barr was a finalist for RPI and Vermont, but Dave Smith and Todd Woodcroft ended up getting those jobs. His name was thrown around for other vacancies as well, but it took until Wednesday for the 39 year-old, Faribault, Minn., native to break through.
The University of Maine made it official that Barr would be the next head coach of the Black Bears’ hockey program. He replaces Red Gendron, who tragically passed away last month, due to a cardiac incident while playing golf in Orono. Barr beat out interim head coach Ben Guite, an alum who had been the associate head coach since 2013, and Quinnipiac associate head coach Joe Dumais, a native of the state of Maine.