- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ORONO, Maine (AP) - Maine hired a winning basketball coach from a Division III college, hoping he can bring the same success to the Division I Black Bears.

Bob Walsh is a winner with a recruiting experience in New England and resume that includes Division I experience, including a stint as assistant coach at Providence College, said Seth Woodcock, who led UMaine’s search committee. In nine seasons, Walsh compiled a record of 204-63, and his team qualified for the Division III NCAA tournament for eight consecutive seasons.

Maine fired coach Ted Woodward last month after a 6-23 season, officials said Wednesday.

“Coach Walsh is highly respected in the college basketball community and ready for the challenge of leading and rebuilding UMaine’s Division I program,” said athletic director Karlton Creech.

Walsh said in a statement Wednesday that he owes a debt to Rhode Island college’s athletic director and team for believing in him as a young coach. He said that now he has an opportunity “to try and build a championship program at the University of Maine.”

Last month, the Black Bears fired Woodward after a 6-23 season. Woodward was 117-178 over 10 seasons with the Black Bears.

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