Athletic director moving — but staying at UMaine

Karlton Creech, who has directed the UMaine athletics department since Feb. 2014, is changing his residence, but staying with the university.

Karlton Creech, who has directed the UMaine athletics department since Feb. 2014, is changing his residence, but staying with the university.

Some observant area sports fans have reported that Karlton Creech’s house in Veazie is up for sale.

That’s true, but the University of Maine athletics director isn’t going far.

“Not leaving — just moving into a lower-maintenance place,” Creech said in a text message.

Creech and his wife, Staci, likely have some pretty good insight on the local real estate market as she is an agent with the Emily Ellis Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast Real Estate.

Regardless, Creech will be much closer to campus than his predecessor, Steve Abbott, who split his time between his home in Portland and his father’s house in Orono when he served as UMaine’s AD.

Karlton Creech is almost 2 1/2 years into his three-year letter of appointment at UMaine that pays him $175,000 per year. His letter of appointment, which makes him an “at will” employee of the university, expires at the end of February 2017.

Creech was hired on Jan. 2, 2014, and took over for Orono native Abbott five weeks later.

UMaine athletics appears to be on a general upward trend in terms of competitive success since Creech’s arrival. Black Bear teams in hockey, football, baseball, softball, soccer and field hockey have registered an overall record of 239-292-22 (.452) and a 109-128-2 mark (.460) in conference play.

Among those programs, five had better records during 2015-2016 than in the 2014-2015 season. Highlights in the last two years have included: Softball’s 2016 America East championship and its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2004 and back-to-back, regular-season titles and a 50-18 overall record in women’s basketball.

Men’s basketball demonstrated gains last winter, while men’s hockey won six fewer games than the previous season.

Overall, UMaine teams had a 12-24 postseason record, including NCAA and Women’s National Invitation Tournament contests, from 2014-2016.

Creech, native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who worked for several years at the University of North Carolina before coming to Maine, appears to have fostered a team mentality within the UMaine athletics staff.

Black Bear coaches have been more outwardly supportive of teams and coaches in other sports and, from the outside looking in, look to have built good interpersonal relationships.

During his brief stint, Creech has hired men’s basketball head coach Bob Walsh and football head coach Joe Harasymiak, promoted longtime football coach Jack Cosgrove and softball coach Lynn Coutts to administrative positions, and elevated Richard Reichenbach the head women’s ice hockey coach.

Men’s hockey coach Red Gendron, baseball coach Steve Trimper and women’s soccer coach Scott Atherley all have received contract extensions in 2016.

Creech appears to have things moving in the right direction at UMaine. Only time will tell how long he will remain, but for now, he’s only moving a short distance.

Correction: Updates with Richard Reichenbach as the UMaine head women’s ice hockey coach and Jack Cosgrove as the former head football coach.

Pete Warner

About Pete Warner

Pete is a Bangor native who graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1980. He earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He has been a full-time member of the Bangor Daily News Sports staff since 1984. Pete lives in Bangor with his wife of 35 years, Annia. They have two adult sons, Will and Paul. Pete is fluent in Spanish and enjoys visiting his in-laws and friends in Costa Rica. His hobbies including hunting, fishing and listening to jazz.