UMF assistant basketball coach Nate Carson speaks to a couple of players during practice at Dearborn Gymnasium in Farmington in 2017. Carson was recently hired as the interim coach for the UMF women’s team. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

There have been several changes, including hiring an interim women’s basketball coach, since Julie Davis retired as athletic director at the University of Maine at Farmington in June.

After Davis moved on, then-women’s basketball coach Jamie Beaudoin was named interim athletic director, leaving his coaching position vacant. But Nate Carson, a longtime assistant for the UMF men’s basketball team, applied for the women’s job and was recently hired as interim coach.

Alyssa Williamson has also came aboard in August as the new softball coach after Kate McKay departed. Williamson, a Maine native, makes the move back to Maine from Suffolk University where she spent two years as an assistant coach.

Peter Lefresne returns to become UMF’s director of athletics communications and athletics eligibility officer, replacing Cameron Eggeman.

UMF has not made a decision yet concerning Beaudoin’s job.

“There hasn’t been an announcement or an advertisement for the position to be even posted,” Beaudoin said.

Beaudoin said a search was conducted for the for the women’s head basketball coach position.

“Throughout the process (of) going through interviews, multiple Zoom interviews, all those things and reference checks, I think Nate’s familiarity with the program, familiarity with Farmington and UMF, he being an alumni with ties to the area, ties to the program, allowed (him) to standout in the process,” Beaudoin said. “(Carson) had previously applied for the men’s position when coach (Dick) Meader had retired.”

Although the women’s head coaching job is an interim position, Carson views it as a career opportunity.

“Very happy to have (the job),” Carson said. “Well, selfishly, there are 3,000 (coaching jobs) in the world, and the opportunity to get one is a big step for me professionally. I think just the opportunity to be the head coach is really different, but ultimately it is the same in that (players) want to improve and they want to win.”

The UMF women’s team has depth and talent thanks to a returning bunch of seniors, including McKenna Brodeur and Alex Bessey.

“We have seven seniors returning,” he said. “I have been told this is a good group. My assistant coach Noah Carroll is convinced they are a good group. It is tough coming from the men’s side. … I’ve watched them here and there, but don’t necessarily have a context for what is good and what is bad.

“I think there is a lot more talent than I expected, in terms of putting the ball in the hole in a variety of ways, but until this weekend, I won’t really know. Our first game is (Saturday).”

UMF travels to the Castleton University Tournament in Vermont, and will face Castleton on Saturday and New England College on Sunday. After that is a game at Bates College on Tuesday.

Carson said the Beavers have the ability to move the ball well.

“I do think we are athletic,” he said. “I think our big players move around pretty well and I think our guards have a good understanding of what to do and when. I know the girls want to get up and down and run — and they can. They certainly can. I have tried to empower that as much as possible. …

“I am hoping for a lot of ball movement, and a lot of continuity and play will be our identity. If we start to create tension in the defense, that we maintain that tension until a good shot becomes available — no lag in between passes or in between each individual’s decision.” 

Carson said he was hired the first day of practice.

“It was tough in that way, coming in, but (the team) has responded so well,” he said. “They try to do everything I ask of them to the best of their ability. That has been a pleasant surprise.”

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