Sunday, April 20, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
The lesson: “You don’t have to wait for the team to win before you can do something significant,” Creech said, noting, “We did not solve the sunshine issue.”
Creech was one of three finalists for the Maine job from among 68 applicants. The other finalists were Jim Herlihy, who grew up in Millinocket and is athletic director at the University of Montevallo in Alabama; and Old Town native Scott Kull, an associate athletic director at TCU.
The search committee was led by Robert Strong, professor of finance and the university’s NCAA faculty representative. It included faculty, staff and community partners.
Creech said he was impressed by those he met on his belated campus interview. He spoke with administrators, athletes, coaches and boosters.
What he found, he said, was “a clear pride about the University of Maine and passion for Maine sports. That’s a great thing to come into. You want people to be proud of who you are. After my visit, I was even more excited about the opportunity.”
Creech said going to a much smaller university – Maine offers 15 sports, North Carolina 28 – was part of the appeal. He said it affords a better chance to forge relationships with coaches and athletes.
“I certainly want to be able to come in and be engaged and be a part of our department and our community,” he said. ”I think the scale is right for doing that.”
There was one other advantage to moving from North Carolina to Maine, although Creech said it was just a coincidence. The school colors are practically identical.
“I don’t have to buy new ties,” Creech said. “I think it’s just that great universities share light blue.”
Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or: