Bill Casavant arrived in Presque Isle back in 1967 when he enrolled at the Aroostook State Teachers College.
The Holyoke, Mass., native has been a fixture on the area sports scene ever since.
Casavant, 60, returns to his alma mater (now called the University of Maine-Presque Isle) July 1 when he becomes the Owls’ director of athletics.
“We had a deep candidate pool but we found the perfect person for the job close to home,” Chris Corsello, UMPI’s dean of students, said in a press release. “Bill gives our athletics program instant recognizability and credibility due to his deep roots in Maine with athletics.”
Casavant will replace Rich Ward, who is stepping down after nine years at UMPI to relocate to the West and pursue new opportunities.
At UMPI, Casavant will head the school’s 12 intercollegiate athletic teams, which compete in NCAA Division III and the NAIA, and its club and intramural programs.
“I’m real excited,” Casavant said. “I went to school there, I graduated from there, I played there, I coached there and now I get an opportunity to go back there as the athletic director.”
Casavant shouldn’t have a hard time moving to UMPI, since he has spent the last 28 years two miles away at Northern Maine Community College. He has been NMCC’s director of admissions for the last 15 years.
Prior to taking that post, he served as the school’s athletic director. He coached soccer and baseball at NMCC and also headed the UMPI men’s basketball program for four seasons.
And while Casavant has enjoyed his long association with NMTC and the people there, the UMPI position puts him back where he wants to be – in athletics.
“I still enjoy the competition,” said Casavant, who last winter was an assistant coach for his son Chris with the Caribou High boys basketball team. “I like being around the coaches and the players and the games. I haven’t outgrown that yet.”
Because of his longstanding connections with Aroostook County sports, Casavant should have a smooth transition at UMPI. He coached Owls men’s soccer coach Alan Gordon, has umpired for Owls baseball coach Leo Saucier, and coached women’s basketball coach Tracy Guerrette.
“I’m very comfortable with them and they’re comfortable with me,” Casavant said.
Casavant graduated from ASTC in 1972 with a degree in health, physical education and recreation. He played baseball, soccer and basketball for the Owls and, as a senior, coached the freshman basketball team.
He was later inducted into the Owls Athletic Hall of Fame.
Casavant, a member of the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors, has been active in the community as a member of the Northern Maine Board of Approved Baseball Umpires and the College Baseball Umpires Association. He previously officiated soccer and basketball.
Casavant also was a familiar voice on the airwaves, broadcasting high school basketball and hockey from 1984-2007. He serves on the Presque Isle Recreation and Parks Advisory Board.
After graduating from ASTC, Casavant taught eighth grade science at Limestone Junior Senior High School for eight years and coached soccer, basketball and baseball.
In 1980, he earned a master’s in education from the University of Maine, prior to going to work at NMCC.
McCarthy gets Saint Joseph’s job
Saint Joseph’s College announced Monday it has hired Corey McCarthy as its sports information director.
McCarthy, who held the position on an interim basis this year, has also served as an assistant baseball coach for the Monks the last four seasons.
Prior to joining the Saint Joseph’s staff the North Dakota native spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Marshwood High School in Eliot.