University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove has inked a three-year contract for $186,995 dollars, annually. The decision to keep the veteran coach of 20 years was made on Tuesday, less than 24 hours before Cosgrove would begin to receive written recruits for the 2013 class.
“I’m excited to get going. I never felt like this wouldn’t happen, there were just a few things I needed to know, in certain areas, simply because of what’s going on in college football,” Cosgrove said in reference to recent changes to the Colonial Athletic Association.
Next season, the CAA will welcome football programs from State University of New York teams Albany and Stony Brook. This will take a big chunk of players from the Black Bear recruiting pool. Last season, UMaine had 30 players from New York and New Jersey on their final roster.
“I understand our location, our economics and our challenges here,” Cosgrove continued. “The underdog, the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality we’ve had to embrace has been a part of me my whole life, but you want to make sure the gap isn’t widening too much.”
Despite being at a disadvantage in regard to proximity and facilities, Cosgrove is confident UMaine can keep pace. UMaine has been able to win games on the road with regularity, defeating such squads as Albany, the University of Delaware, James Madison University, University of Richmond and Villanova University within the past two seasons.
“Some of the young men we are recruiting have never been in the state of Maine,” Cosgrove said. “Difficulties to me are always just challenges, and challenges can be met with hard work, the right attitude and the right effort.”
Cosgrove now wants to focus on consistency in the future. The Blacks Bears finished 9-5 in 2008, 5-6 in 2009, 4-7 in 2010, 9-4 in 2011 and 5-6 last season.
“Greatness is measured in consistency,” Cosgrove said.
There were many factors that led to Cosgrove’s decision to return to Orono, but one of the most important was his family. Cosgrove has four children, three of whom are attending Bangor High School, and is enjoying his residency in Bangor with his wife Marilyn. Cosgrove recounted a story in which one of his best friends has had six different jobs in 10 years. He doesn’t want his children to be the “new kids” every year.
“I’m an Irish Catholic kid from Boston. Family is everything,” Cosgrove said. “The family thing, which is something we try to show to our recruits every year, is probably the No. 1 reason why this contract was so important to me.”
Cosgrove can reassess his situation once again in 2016, as the veteran coach still has plenty of energy left in him. For now, though, Black Bear fans will be excited to see “Coach Cos” on the sidelines for at least three more years.