LEWISTON — The search went on for what many die-hard fans called “an eternity.”

Applicants for the job of head coach and general manager of the Lewiston Maineiacs sent, faxed and hand-delivered resumes, letters of intent and lists of experience over a period of four weeks.

After all of that, the applicant who traveled the shortest distance to deliver any of that information — and the most familiar to the players and staff — has earned the title.

According to a source within the Maineiacs’ organization who wished to remain unnamed, Ed Harding will be the team’s new coach and general manager Friday morning.

“We’re very close to naming a coach,” Maineiacs’ President and Governor Matt McKnight said Thursday. McKnight would not elaborate.

Harding declined comment, as well, though he was in the office for most of the day, and Maineiacs’ majority owner Mark Just could not be reached.

Harding will be the team’s third head coach in five years, but has been the team’s assistant coach since the franchise moved to Lewiston from Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 2003. Two years ago, Harding was also named assistant general manager.

Harding’s head coaching record is 18-11-1-1 with the Maineiacs while he’s filled in.

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