UMaine Football fans should be mad as heck

Told you so.

As promised it didn’t take long for UMaine football coach Joe Harasymiak to get the heck out of here. It’s been just days since the loss to Eastern Washington. Darn. I just learned how to get his last name spelled correctly without double checking.

I saw a news story that states the average college football coach makes it five years. Coach H made it three. That’s below average.

Of course the UMaine job is below average. Larry Mahoney reported this week that the $153,000 Harasymiak earned this year made him the lowest paid coach in the conference. You can safely say that he was one of the lowest paid head coaches in the country.

Coach H is heading to the land of 1000 lakes. And big boy football in the Big Ten conference. According to the intrepid Mr. Mahoney, the Minnesota “Pass Rush Specialist” coach pulls down $210,000. Guess he can still easily pick up bar tabs for his buddies as the lowest paid Gopher coach.

Most of the coaches on the Minnesota staff make more than a quarter million a season. Coach H will be able to buy a very nice boat for one of those lakes.

Look, don’t be mad at Joe Harasymiak. As I have written and said a lot in the past couple of weeks, there was zero doubt that he was leaving. I’m happy for him and expect him to be a head coach at the FBS level in three or four years.

What I am madder than heck about is that in those three or four years, Black Bear football most likely will return to the territory known as mediocrity. I expect somewhere between five and seven wins a year and probably no playoff appearances.

History is on my side.

Howie Mandel is not going to come swooping into Orono with one of those Deal or No Deal suitcases filled with cash. So there is no reason to expect the next coach will be compensated any closer to the top tier coaches in the conference.

So, either the coach will be subpar or will be upwardly mobile like Joe H and be gone before the next Olympics.

Any good business person will tell you not to do things you can’t afford. For you and me that might mean not driving an SUV or upgrading an ATV.

The University of Maine can not afford to field a competitive football team.

Prior to this amazing season, it had been 5 years since Maine sniffed the post season. The Black Bears had not recorded a post season win since 2011. Before that, 2002.

I liked this season much better.

As I have asked before: “How can Maine football not only win more games but perhaps retain a not young coach, if even for a couple extra years?”

It can be done. UNH has done it. Why can’t we?

It will take more money. But if you want to play, you have to pay. One well connected Go Blue person once told me that as long as UMaine funds football, the other sports won’t have the resources needed to compete.

I argue it’s the other way around.

Football is a program that can compete on the national level. Most Maine teams can’t. How bad do you want to see them in the final four again?

I asked in an earlier blog if you would you be willing to cut sports? Women’s ice hockey? And baseball? To pump money into building the best FCS football program in the Northeast?

BDN comments and some e mails to me say “no way.”

OK. Then how do you like 5 wins a year and coaches taking the fast track out of town? It has been the norm and will continue to be.

Because as someone once told me, “If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are heading.”

Jeff Solari

About Jeff Solari

Jeff Solari is the president and founder of the Sports Chowdah, Maine’s only free, weekly sports e mail newsletter. Recently, the Mount Desert Island native was the co-host of "The Drive" on 92.9 FM in Bangor.