The University of Maine

 

Calendar  |  Campus Map  | 

About UMaine | Student Resources | Prospective Students
Faculty & Staff
| Alumni | Arts | News | Parents | Research


division
 Contentsdivision
 President's Messagedivision
 Student Focusdivision
 Insightsdivision
 Lasting Impressiondivision
 UMaine Foundationdivision
 On the Coverdivision

May / June 2004 Cover


division
 Current Issuedivision
 About UMaine Today
division
 Past Issues
division
 
 
Subject Areasdivision
 UMaine Home
division

 



 

Goals

2003 Bangor Daily News, used with permission


Goals
Coach Whitehead's view of winning on and off the ice

About the Photo: "Ultimately, I'll make the final decisions, but it's important to involve everybody. It shows the players that I respect their opinions and the fact that they have a big stake in what's going on. It also makes them more willing to listen."

Tim Whitehead
 

Links Related to this Story
 

A national television audience and a FleetCenter crowd of almost 18,000 watched Tim Whitehead work when he coached the UMaine Black Bear hockey team in the NCAA Frozen Four tournament in Boston in early April. That's a big change from 13 years ago. Then, only his mentor, teacher Joe Floyd, and students in his John Bapst High School history class watched him closely as he worked as a student teacher in Bangor, Maine.

Despite the different spotlights, Whitehead sees the jobs of teacher and coach as being rooted in the same basic ideals.

"There are many types of teachers and coaches who can be effective, as long as they stay true to their personality," Whitehead says. "Good teachers and coaches create an environment of mutual respect, whether it's in the classroom or the locker room. I think that's the basis of a good learning situation."

Whitehead is a 1985 Hamilton College graduate. After playing professional hockey in Europe, he taught middle school social studies at St. Gregory the Great School in Trenton, N.J., for one year.

Whitehead then turned to college coaching, and after two seasons at Middlebury College, joined Coach Shawn Walsh's staff at UMaine for the 199091 season. During that year, he earned a master's degree in education from UMaine.

After 10 years at UMass-Lowell, five as the head coach, Whitehead returned to UMaine and succeeded Walsh, who died shortly before the start of the 2001-2002 season.

"That first year was very challenging," Whitehead says. "But it was fascinating to see each player gradually come on board with what we were doing as a group."

The Black Bears finished second in the national tournament that season, losing in overtime to Minnesota.

"To see it come out with such great results was exciting. Our coaching staff learned and our players learned. We found out a lot about ourselves and about how to succeed despite adversity. Anyone who's been involved in sports recognizes that there truly are lessons to be learned through athletics, and that season was a great example," he says.

Teaching is about communication, and Whitehead believes that his players need to be involved in making decisions. During the playoffs this year, he used e-mail to ask his players for ideas to help improve the team's struggling power play.

"Ultimately, I'll make the final decisions, but it's important to involve everybody," he says. "It shows the players that I respect their opinions and the fact that they have a big stake in what's going on. It also makes them more willing to listen."

Whitehead is only the third full-time head coach in the storied history of Black Bear hockey, which began in 1977. He recognizes that he is in charge of Maine's most visible team, and he accepts the challenge with the enthusiasm of a first-year teacher.

"One of the reasons I love coaching is because my students are passionate about the subject," Whitehead says. "That creates a great opportunity to teach about other aspects of life during the process of teaching hockey."

by Joe Carr
May-June, 2004

Click Here for more stories from this issue of UMaine Today Magazine.

 

UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
5761 Howard A. Keyo Public Affairs Building
Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776


The University of Maine
, Orono, Maine 04469
207-581-1110
A Member of the University of Maine System