April 07, 2020

UM baseball hires Hamilton

University of Maine baseball coach Paul Kostacopoulos has announced Greg Hamilton as his new assistant coach.

Hamilton replaces veteran assistant Jay Kemble, who resigned in December after eight-plus seasons with the Black Bears. His appointment still must be approved by UMaine president Peter Hoff.

Kostacopoulos expects Hamilton, 32, to provide insight to UMaine pitchers while giving the program a top-notch recruiter with extensive contacts in Canada and the eastern U.S.

“I was worried about not getting a person the quality of Jay, but I’m excited about Greg because he will be able to hit the ground running,” Kostacopoulos said. “Greg’s got a great awareness of recruiting and he knows exactly what we need in terms of talent.”

Hamilton chose Maine as a starting point to join the college coaching ranks because of the program’s tradition and the chance to work with Kostacopoulos.

“I think it’s a program that if everybody does their job well and we all get going in the right direction, it’s going to end up taking off again,” Hamilton said.

The Toronto native is a 1988 graduate of Princeton University, where he was a pitcher. He was Princeton’s top assistant for two years before joining Team Canada as a pitching coach in 1992.

Hamilton held that post for four years, then was named the head coach of the Canadian Junior National Team in 1995. He also spent four years as the coach and technical director of the Montpellier Baseball Club in France.

Bringing some of Canada’s best player to UMaine is one of Hamilton’s primary goals.

“There really are some impact players in the country and it’s still largely untapped, at least from a college perspective as far as coaches going up and recruiting on an active basis,” Hamilton said. “Kids are getting drafted and there are still some great deals in Canada in terms of being able to recruit some impact players.”

Cindy Blodgett continues to garner national attention, even after two weeks on the shelf with a foot injury.

The University of Maine’s senior star received a mention in this week’s issue of The Sporting News. Blodgett, who is expected to return to action Thursday at Drexel after missing four games with plantar fasciitis, is noted for her assault on a third straight NCAA Division I scoring title.

The magazine points out that Pete Maravich of Louisiana State University and Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson, both of whom went on to NBA stardom, are the only other players to lead the nation three years in a row.

Blodgett is averaging 27.9 points per game, but doesn’t meet the minimum NCAA requirement of having played in 75 percent of Maine’s 13 games. Harvard’s Allison Feaster leads the nation with a 28.7 average through 14 games.

Despite NCAA reports to the contrary, Towson University will be eligible for the America East men’s basketball tournament – and the automatic NCAA tourney qualifier the champion earns – this season.

According to Matt Bourque, America East’s assistant commissioner for communications, the mixup took place when Towson University changed its name from Towson State University in 1997. In the process of notifying the NCAA of the name change, the collegiate governing body made a mistake.

“When Towson put in their name change to the NCAA, the NCAA filed that as if they were a new school coming into our conference,” Bourque said.

According to the criteria the NCAA was using, the Tigers would have been ineligible to claim the automatic qualifier for eight years because they were thought to be a Division II or III school stepping up to Division I.

The matter came to light when the Baltimore Sun ran America East statistics and Towson’s won-lost record appeared with an asterisk beside it indicating that the Tigers were ineligible for the postseason tourney, Bourque said.

One phone call from the league office to the NCAA immediately rectified the situation on Tuesday, said Bourque.

The Atlantic 10 Football Conference is talking about expanding after Boston University dropped its football program last fall.

Atlantic 10 athletic directors met Tuesday in Philadelphia to discuss the possibility.

“We have had other schools express interest in competing in our conference during the 1998 season,” said Atlantic 10 Commissioner Linda Bruno. “However, we are first developing certain criteria that must be met by any school seeking membership.”

Bruno said the criteria will be discussed in more depth in May at the league’s annual meeting.

The Atlantic 10 now has 11 teams, which resulted in unbalanced divisions and an uneven schedule. Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., which already is on the schedule of six Atlantic 10 teams next season, has previously been mentioned as a candidate.

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