By BRENDAN McGAIR
PROVIDENCE -- Per Rhode Island College:
Rhode Island College Head Menâ€™s Basketball Coach Bob Walsh has stepped down to become the Head Menâ€™s Basketball Coach at the University of Maine.
â€śIt's hard to describe how much being the head coach at RIC has meant to me both professionally and personally,â€ť Walsh said. â€śI have a great opportunity to try and build a championship program at the University of Maine, and I owe that opportunity to (Athletic Director) Don Tencher and the young men who wore the RIC uniform for the past nine years. They gave me the greatest gift a team can give a young head
coach. They believed in me, and I will never forget that. The support of the administration and the alumni has been tremendous, and I'll always be proud to have been part of the RIC community.â€ť
A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately. Assistant Coach Mike Romano will serve as the Interim Head Coach during this time period.
â€śI am excited about this opportunity,â€ť Romano said. â€śMy goal is to carry on Coach Walshâ€™s initiatives, tradition of success and further develop the outstanding program he has built.â€ť
Walsh led Rhode Island College for nine seasons (2005-14), compiling a record of 204-63. His .764 winning percentage is the highest in program history and he ranks second all-time in career victories. Walsh led RIC to Little East Conference Regular Season Championships five times (2013, â€™11, 10, â€™09, â€™07) and to six Little East Conference Tournament Championships (2014, â€™13, â€™11, â€™10, â€™08, â€™07).
Under his tutelage, RIC has qualified for the NCAA Div. III Menâ€™s Basketball Tournament in each of the past eight seasons, one of only five institutions in the nation that can claim that feat. The Anchormen reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2007 and the Sweet 16 twice (2011, â€™10).