Former Maine-Presque Isle standout Joey Bard has been named the new Men's and Women's Head Ski Coach at UMPI. Current Athletic Director and former head ski coach Paul Stone will step down from his post in the Presque Isle Athletic Department later this year.
Bard graduated from UMPI in 2014 and left an indelible mark on the Owl ski program. A 2012 member of the Maine All-State First Team, he helped to elevate the Nordic Skiing Program at UMPI, with outstanding finishes throughout his career in the ultra-competitive Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association.
A two-time Nordic Skiing Junior National All-American, Bard was exposed to some of the most outstanding training methods from several International coaching greats and U.S. National Ski Team coaches, while a member of the Maine Winter Sports Center team for more than a decade.
"First of all I want to thank the University of Maine Presque Isle for putting their trust and confidence in selecting me to be Head Coach of the men's and women's ski team, said Bard. "I am very excited to be coaching at my alma mater and will work vigorously in developing University of Maine at Presque Isle skiing into a highly competitive program."
"What the committee really liked about Joey was that he was not only an accomplished skier, but also had worked with college athletes, had a real passion for the University of Maine-Presque Isle, and had a clear vision for how to advance the program," noted hiring committee chairperson Mike Holmes.
Bard is extremely familiar with the current student-athletes racing for the Owls, as he has volunteered his time with the team for the past two seasons and has helped several UMPI skiers reach personal bests.
"He [Bard] helped me to my two best performances in my time at UMPI," said Lydia Streinz, a sophomore Skier at UMPI. "Joey has a real passion for the sport and the University, that passion really motivated us when he stepped in last year for Paul [Stone]"
Bard has worked with a wide range of athlete abilities as a ski instructor at Big Rock Mountain, from the novice, to his long-time friend and former Caribou high teammate, Russell Currier. Currier, a 2014 Olympian in Biathlon and like Bard, a Maine Winter Sports Team veteran, have been friends since the 7th grade.
Despite a fit and youthful appearance that may have onlookers mistake Bard for one of his highly tuned athletes, Bard is already sounding like an experienced recruiter with his comments about the attractiveness of skiing for the UMPI program.
"The University of Maine Presque Isle offers exceptional training and educational opportunities for student-athletes seeking to compete at the collegiate level," noted Bard. "The greater Presque Isle area offers over 100kms of meticulously groomed trails and more snow than anywhere in the East. My goal is to take the program to the next level, attract more athletes and develop a program competitive with any in the east."