Joe Roberts has worked in the University of Maine athletic department for 17 years. This fall, he continues his ascent within its ranks.
Roberts has been named UMaine’s associate athletic director for external operations as one of several personnel moves announced recently by athletic director Blake James.
In addition to Roberts’ promotion, Will Biberstein has been appointed associate athletic director for facilities and Leslie Ricker takes over as the associate AD for compliance.
Roberts is coming off a five-year stint as UMaine’s director of athletic development. In that position, he was responsible for fundraising for the Black Bear Fund, the Shawn Walsh Hockey Center, Alfond Arena sky box and handling preferred seating commitments and several other projects.
In his new role, Roberts will deal with ticket sales, marketing, promotions and the Bear Necessities store while also handling numerous other duties.
“It’s a move that I think is a natural transition, in the world of athletics, to the next level,” James said. “When you look at his experience and the wealth of knowledge that he has with how do things in the department and the history of the department, it’s a big plus to have that.”
Prior to that, Roberts was for five years an assistant AD for media relations. He joined the staff in 1990 as assistant sports information director.
Roberts earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s in business administration from UMaine.
Biberstein gained his new title after holding the position on an interim basis for the past year. He oversees all UMaine athletic facilities, supervises several sports and also keeps tabs on the equipment room, strength and conditioning and event management.
“Will was the individual who was the right fit for the job,” James said. “He will allow us to continue to improve and grow our department in that area.”
Biberstein, who earned undergrad and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois, arrived at UMaine in 2002 as the head strength and conditioning coach. He held a similar job for three years at the University of Eastern Illinois.
Ricker comes to UMaine after two years as compliance director and executive assistant to the athletic director at Eckerd College in Florida. She also was a media relations assistant with the Sunshine State Conference for one year.
Ricker, who holds a degree from Wisconsin-Green Bay and a master’s of sport administration and an MBA from Ohio University, also worked for the Green Bay Packers in 2002 as a public relations intern.
“There are so many [NCAA] rules and regulations, you want to make sure you’re on top of everything,” James said. “I’m thrilled to be able to get Leslie into that position.”
Marble preseason player of year
Ashley Marble of the University of Southern Maine in Gorham has been selected as the 2006 Women’s DIII News Preseason Player of the Year.
The senior from Topsfield, a former Woodland High School star, was recognized by the publication as part of its preseason All-America team.
That 24-member squad also includes senior centers Meg Coffin of Bates College in Lewiston and Eileen Flaherty of Bowdoin College in Brunswick.
Marble, the Little East Conference Player of the Year last season, was a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American after leading the Huskies in scoring (17.2 points per game), rebounding (9.9) and field-goal percentage (.540).
“I am honored and a bit shocked by the selection,” Marble said. “It is a lot to live up to, but none of it would be possible without my team. I have unbelievable teammates and as we work and progress throughout the season, I am confident that we will continue to be successful.”
The 5-foot-9 forward has been instrumental in leading the Huskies to a combined 102-7 record during the last three seasons, including three conference championships and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division III Final Four. USM played in the national title game last winter.
“Ashley is one of the most gifted athletes that I have coached,” said longtime USM coach Gary Fifield. “A tenacious rebounder, she contributes on both ends of the court and is a tough match for opponents because of her ability to score in the post and on the perimeter.”
Marble was the ECAC Division III New England Player of the Year last season and was a CoSIDA District I Academic All-Region choice.
Blue-White basketball Saturday
Fans of the UMaine men’s and women’s basketball teams can get their first look at the 2006-07 edition of the squads as part of Saturday’s homecoming activities.
The Black Bears play their annual Blue-White scrimmages at Alfond Arena shortly after the completion of the home football game against Hofstra.
The men’s team, under coach Ted Woodward, gets the action started at approximately 5:15 p.m., or immediately following the football game. After a 20-minute break, coach Ann McInerney’s women will take the court.
The Blue-White games will consist of two 10-minute halves with a two-minute intermission. A 20-minute break is scheduled between the men’s and women’s scrimmages.
Admission is free.
The men’s team has also planned some other events in conjunction with Saturday’s scrimmage. At 10:30 a.m., there will be an alumni game, also at Alfond Arena. Former players Chris Markwood, now an assistant coach, along with Andy Bedard and Joe Campbell are expected to participate.
At noon, the men’s team has scheduled a “Meet the Team Luncheon” in Palmer Lounge on the second floor of Mahaney Clubhouse. Fans and alumni are invited to attend to meet and talk with the team and coaching staff.