CHN Staff Report
Ben Guite, who has been an assistant coach at Maine since 2013, was named interim head coach today.
The move comes following the sudden death of head coach Red Gendron last Friday.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Ben Guite’s experience and character to guide our program through this difficult time,” Maine athletic director Ken Ralph said. “Ben is a Black Bear alum, a national champion, played in the National Hockey League, and has established himself as one of the top assistant coaches in college hockey. More importantly, there is no one who cares more about the University of Maine and the success of its hockey program.”
The interim tag is not expected to last long. The school said that by next week, a national search will be conducted, with a small search committee, and Guite would be considered a top candidate for the permanent role.
Guite was a member of Maine’s 1999 national championship team, a team that was coached by Shawn Walsh, who, in 2001, coincidentally, was the last sitting head coach to pass away.
Guite went on to play 13 years in pro hockey, including 175 games in the NHL.
“At the moment, our thoughts are with Coach Red’s wife Jan, and their daughters, Katie and Allie, and we are here to support our players in any needs that they may have,” Guite said. “Our program will honor Coach Red through our passion for Maine Hockey and our effort on and off the ice. I am honored to serve on the Maine Hockey staff and strive to represent all that Maine Hockey means to myself, our University, our state, and our region. I will continue to give back to a program which has given so much to me both as a player, and as a coach.”
Guite had 47 goals and 96 points in 146 games at Maine. A Montreal native, Guite scored the first goal in Maine’s national championship victory over New Hampshire and added an assist in the Frozen Four semifinal win over Boston College. During his senior year in 1999-00, Guite scored a team-high 22 goals with 14 assists for 36 points in 40 games.