ORONO, Maine -- University of Maine Director of Athletics Blake James announced today that Maria Lewis has been named head women's ice hockey coach. Lewis comes to the University of Maine after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota, and is known as being a top recruiter. She served as a volunteer assistant with the Black Bears for the 1999-2000 season.
"I am very excited about the future of our women's ice hockey program," said James. "I am confident that under Maria's leadership we will see significant growth of our women's hockey program."
"I am excited to have the opportunity to return to the University of Maine," said Lewis. "There is a great hockey tradition here on the men's side, and I know the women's program can achieve a similar level of success on our side. With the recent additions to the Alfond, the great strength and conditioning staff, and the excellent academic support resources available at the University, the pieces are in place for this program to get to the next level in women's college hockey and compete for a Hockey East title in the near future."
Lewis was involved in numerous aspects of the program at North Dakota the past three seasons with an emphasis on recruiting for the Fighting Sioux. Lewis was responsible for coaching the defensemen during games last season, while working with the forwards the previous two seasons. Last season, she served as an assistant coach for the WCHA All-Star Team. The team played against the US Olympic Team at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., during team USA's Qwest Tour.
In addition, Lewis advised and monitored academic progress and achievement. She also mentored student-athletes for personal and professional growth. While at UND, Lewis played a large role in the recruitment of Michelle Karvinen, who is a top player in Europe and won a bronze medal with Team Finland.
Lewis served one year as an assistant coach with The Ohio State University club team, where she assisted with developing and implementing on-ice systems. She implemented a new power play system and assisted with skill development of forwards and defense.
Lewis served as an assistant coach at Mercyhurst College from 2000-2006, including the 2005-2006 season when she was Associate Head Coach. While at Mercyhurst, Lewis was involved in numerous aspects of the program. She coordinated and assisted with all aspects of recruiting and assisted with implementation of on-ice hockey systems. She also aided with skill development of forwards, the defense corps and goaltenders. She broke down video, coordinated team travel, monitored academic progress and created the recruiting database. She also organized a booster club for increasing the fan base and awareness of the program.
While at Mercyhurst, Lewis recruited Canadian gold medalist Meghan Agosta and Swedish National Team player Angelica Lorsell.
Lewis served as a volunteer assistant at Maine during the 1999-2000 season. She assisted with the implementation of on-ice hockey systems and with skill development. Lewis has also served as a head coach at various skills camps over a 12-year period in addition to several development camps and try-outs for USA Hockey from 2001–2007. She also was a speaker at the USA Hockey Coaches Certification Clinics for Level 2 and 3 in 2006 as well as the Program of Merit in 2004.
Lewis is a 1999 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor of science in business management with a concentration in psychology. She received her masters in organizational leadership from Mercyhurst College in 2002.
Lewis will begin her duties on Monday, July 19.
What others are saying about Maria Lewis:
"I feel Maria Lewis is a great choice for this job. She has worked there in the past so she is familiar with the school and area. This along with a strong track record of recruiting good hockey players will move Maine Hockey in a positive direction. She is a relentless worker that has so much love and passion for the game." Jim Fetter, Wayne State University head coach and former Maine assistant coach.
"I believe Maria is a great addition to the UMaine athletic department as the head women's ice hockey coach. Not only does she brings experience and knowledge, but passion and energy, two things that this program needs to get where it needs to be. I am excited for her and believe she will do great things." Sara Simard, Dartmouth College assistant coach and former Maine assistant coach.