So Richard Barron is the new men’s basketball coach at the University of Maine. When it comes to rebuilding a basketball program, Barron has been there, and done that. A few times. If he were a chef, he seemingly would have the ability to take table scraps and concoct a gourmet meal.
As the new University of Maine Men’s Head Coach, Barron is taking over one off the worst D-1 men’s programs in the country. But this is not new territory for the former Maine Women’s Coach.
When he arrived in Orono he took over a program that had won just twenty four total games the four prior seasons under former star player Cindy Blodgett. His Black Bears climbed the learning curve the first two seasons managing just 12 total wins. But by year three, Barron had his foundation built and Maine win total climbed every year to 17, 23 and 26.
Before UMaine, Barron began his Division I head coaching career at Princeton. After taking over the program fresh off a 2-25 season prior to his arrival, Barron guided the Tigers to an 11-16 record in his first season. During his six years at Princeton, Barron coached the Tigers to an Ivy League title in 2005-06, setting a school record for overall wins (21-7) and conference wins (12-2).
Before his time at Princeton, Barron spent five seasons at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn, compiling a 77-48 record during his tenure. In his final season at the University of the South, Barron guided the squad to its first ever conference championship and a No. 8 national ranking in Division III.
The Maine Men’s program will surely be a test of his abilities. The kitchen cabinet is pretty darn bare.
The team just wrapped up a 6-26 season. Only four of those wins came against Division One competition. The Black Bears have an RPI of 335. That’s out of 351 teams in the nation.
The program has a five year record of 30-124. They have not even won one conference tournament game since 2005. Not one. Sad.
But Barron’s resume speaks for itself. Everywhere he has been as a head coach, he has built winning programs. He knows the recipe.
Give him a couple of years to “shop for the groceries” as Bill Parcells once famously said, and Maine Black Bear fans will be dining on a five star meal in Orono.