UMF women’s basketball coach Jamie Beaudoin watches his team play during a game in Farmington during the 2018-19 season. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal file photo

Jamie Beaudoin understood he was relinquishing his a coaching position after he was recently named interim athletic director at the University of Maine at Farmington.

He is taking over for retired UMF AD Julie Davis while the Beavers conduct a yearlong, nationwide search for her replacement. Beaudoin, who has stepped down as the women’s head basketball coach and associate athletic director, will be applying for the athletic director slot.

“I was not surprised that the university and our administration reached out to me,” Beaudoin said. “I believe ever since I worked with Julie, she had a done a great job mentoring me and preparing me for potential, next steps.

“For the next step, I definitely think it makes sense. Obviously, I am super excited about the opportunity and appreciate that (UMF) president Dr. Edward Serna and vice president Christine Wilson would consider me for this position.”

Over the next year, UMF will be interviewing candidates for the athletic director position.

“UMF is fortunate to have Beaudoin, someone with great knowledge of UMF and success as an athletics administrator and coach, willing to step in as interim AD after Davis’ retirement,” Wilson said in a news release. “His experience will assure continuity in athletics at an important time at UMF, as we will be implementing our new strategic plan this year.”

Beaudoin already has a lot on his schedule as he assumes his new role.

“We are in the midst of a strategic rollout, which we will be starting that in September,” he said. “So there are some transitions going on with our campus as we look at different departments and roles within our campus to kind of see what that (AD) position might look like come 2022-2023 …

“I will not be coaching. We will be hiring an interim women’s basketball coach for a full-time, 10-month contract. We are hoping that advertisement will be going out soon.”

UMaine-Farmington women’s soccer coach Molly Wilkie has been promoted to Associate Athletic Director, a role Beaudoin held since 2010.

Stepping away from coaching — even if it might become temporary — was not easy for Beaudoin, who has coached the Beavers since 2000. Coaching has been a lifelong passion for him.

“When I spoke (to my players) about it, that to me is the most difficult thing,” he said. “I’ve been coaching for a long time. I love coaching. I think my players sometimes think it is a little bit silly how much I look forward to having a practice. 

“Being with them in that type of setting gives me great joy. Yes, I see the success that takes place in competition, but to me it is just so much more than that. To me, that is the thing I am going to miss the most.”

During his coaching career, Beaudoin guided the Beavers to conference championships in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007, with trips to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship in 2006 and 2007. He was named the North Atlantic Conference and State of Maine Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2007. He also coached the school’s men’s soccer team from 2001-2007, and led the Beavers to back-to-back conference titles in 2001 and 2002. He was the NAC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2006.

But despite his love of coaching, Beaudoin embraces the opportunity to become UMF’s new athletic director.

“In all my years of coaching multiple sports, working with the North Atlantic Conference and my role changing over time, in terms of my administrative role that’s gotten larger and larger every year, part of that is the nature of college athletics,” he said. “It was part of Julie preparing me as well as me going to Julie in year-end meetings and saying, ‘I’d like to get more experience in this particular setting. Can you help?’ 

“She has always been supportive of that just because she understands the importance of individual growth — and that’s what we all strive for. (Becoming athletic director) is the next logical step for me, and obviously I have been saying a long time being in the right spot and the timing aligning makes a big difference.”

Beaudoin also worked side-by-side with Davis during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I still remember clear as day (Davis) coming in and saying she just found out that, ‘We are going remote and we are sending kids home,’ and how hard it was for us to comprehend that,” Beaudoin  said. “So from that point in time and throughout the spring, throughout the summer, all year dealing with our student athletes … all that stuff throughout the year we were super involved in with Julie, our coaching staff, our sports medicine staff … I thought we made a great team.

“There were a lot of meetings that took place, and we reinvented the wheel.”

Beaudoin, a Orono High School graduate who was a four-year starter for the UMF men’s basketball program under former coach Dick Meader, has set down deep roots in Farmington — a community that he has come to love and raise his children.

“The zip code — I can’t get rid of that,” he said. “I just love Farmington. I love our campus and all things that it provides for our students and student-athletes to shine.”

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