Jack Cosgrove, the winningest football coach in University of Maine history, is returning to the sidelines at Colby College.
Cosgrove, 62, who is leaving his job as senior associate director of athletics at Maine, coached the Black Bears for 23 seasons, going 129-135.
Rich Kimball of WZON radio in Bangor first reported the news.
Colby College officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Friday.
Cosgrove takes over a struggling Colby program that finished 1-8 this season under Jonathan Michaeles, who resigned after six seasons. Colby went 14-35 under Michaeles, whose lone victory this fall came again rival Bowdoin. The Mules haven’t won an outright CBB (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin) title since 2005.
Cosgrove reached out to former players early Friday morning with the news, said Chris McLaughlin, a Gardiner native who played on the offensive line at Maine from 1996-2000.
McLaughlin said the Mules will quickly enjoy a recruiting edge over their New England Small College Athletic Conference rivals.
“This is a game-changer,” said McLaughlin, a Bowdoinham resident. “Because of his connections and his history, those alone will change the recruitment landscape considerably. This is going to create some serious ripples.”
McLaughlin added that he knew Cosgrove missed the sidelines when he saw him Nov. 4 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, when Maine played Delaware.
“You could tell,” McLaughlin said. “You could tell he missed coaching. This is in his blood. Colby is getting a good one.”
This story will be updated.