UMaine head men’s hockey coach Ben Barr welcomed to new Alfond Arena home
“This is a special place and it’s right there at the top of the list.”
ORONO, Maine (WABI) - UMaine introduced their new head hockey coach on Wednesday. They had an in-person meet and greet with Ben Barr Friday at Alfond Arena.
“Gives me great pleasure to introduce the fifth men’s hockey coach of the year men’s hockey coach at the University of Maine, Ben Barr,” says UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph.
New UMaine head coach Ben Barr grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. Moved to play for one of the top programs on the planet at Shattuck St. Mary’s. He played on a line with Zach Parise and Andy Murray’s son.
“They were so much better than me,” says UMaine head coach Ben Barr, “They were freshman. I ended up with a scholarship. They were already so much better than me. And they were 110 pounds, 5 foot 2.”
A 2-way forward became a captain at RPI before taking to coaching.
“People from all over the country have been reaching out guys in the NHL, through the collegiate ranks, in the junior ranks, agents,” says Ralph, “the outpouring of support for Ben and the program has been just fantastic.”
Barr introduced to his new home Alfond Arena.
“I’m very proud of it. You know and I hope there’s a lot of you know in our world, in our hockey world, it’s really hard to get a job anywhere in the hockey world,” says Barr.
A place he had seen from the visiting perspective.
“It’s a hostile place but today it has been anything but that,” says Barr, “It’s a special place, and this is a special place, and it’s right there at the top of the list.”
His dad on hand couldn’t be prouder.
“I always knew he was capable of doing this. But didn’t quite get that chance quite yet and so this I just can’t explain my feeling,” says Ben’s dad Rick Barr, “My wife and I were just pinching ourselves and his job. He’ll do a tremendous job he’s done a tremendous job everywhere he’s been.”
Barr is ready to get started with his first head coaching job.
“The coaches that are really good at the really tiny things,” says Ben, “spend the time to make sure that the players understand what’s important.”
“And one of the comments he made was if you don’t pay attention to the details you get frayed edges and when you get frayed edges,” says Ralph, “that’s when things start to unravel.”
Barr hopes to get the Black Bears as prepared as possible for his first season.
“Focused on the staff and focused on getting to know our players,” says Barr, “getting to know the administration in the program, and then here trying to get a little continuity before school starts in the fall.”
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