Fresh off national championship, UMass associate hockey coach Barr chosen new bench boss at Maine

Ben Barr, who won a national championship with UMass this past season, is the new head coach at Maine (photo: Rich Gagnon).

Massachusetts associate head coach Ben Barr has been named the fifth head coach in Maine history, agreeing to terms on a four-year contract.

The 39-year-old Barr has served in his role at UMass since 2016 and helped lead the Minutemen to their first national championship this past season.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben Barr to the University of Maine,” said Maine director of athletics Ken Ralph in a news release. “He brings with him an amazing track record of success in collegiate hockey. In a very competitive field of candidates, Ben stood alone with his comprehensive plan for building and sustaining success for UMaine hockey. It was also clear from the research we conducted with people throughout the hockey world that we have hired the exact right person for the job. I’d like to thank Jim Montgomery, Garth Snow, Bruce Major, Brian Faison, and Samantha Hegmann for all of their time and efforts on the search committee. Our Black Bears are in great hands with Coach Barr behind the bench.”

Barr, a Faribault, Minn., native, takes over for Ben Guite, named the team’s interim coach April 15 after Red Gendron passed away on April 9.

“Being named the fifth head coach of the Maine Black Bears is an incredible honor and very humbling,” said Barr. “There is a tremendous sense of responsibility and pride from all of the student-athletes and coaches that have passed through this program, and we will bring that passion with us as we build a program which reflects the values of the State and University of Maine. The past year has taught us that we can not take anything for granted. Black Bear Hockey is an essential part of the University and the community, and I know the people of Maine are eager to see their Black Bears compete for Hockey East and NCAA Championships again. I’d like to thank President Ferrini-Mundy, Ken Ralph, and the entire search committee for trusting me with this position. My family and I are excited to be a part of the community in Orono.”

Barr began his coaching career at his alma mater, Rensselaer, where he spent the 2004-05 and 2007-08 seasons as a volunteer assistant coach. Barr joined Union in September of 2008 as a full-time assistant.

After three years at Union, Barr was hired as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Providence.

In June of 2014, Barr accepted a role as the associate head coach at Western Michigan, where stayed for two seasons.

Barr earned a four-year athletic scholarship at RPI where he went on to achieve four letters for the men’s hockey team from 2000 to 2004. He served as the team’s captain during the 2003-04 season, leading the program to a 22-win season. Barr earned the Rensselaer Coach’s award in 2003 and 2004 and was named the team’s MVP for the 2002-03 campaign.

He graduated from RPI in May of 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Management and Technology with a Marketing concentration.