Paul Stone enters his first full season as the Director of Athletics after nearly two years as Interim Director of Athletics. This is his 5th year as the head coach of the men's and women's nordic skiing programs.
The designation of Stone to head of UMPI athletics was one of the first hirings for new president, Dr. Linda Schott.
"One of the first changes I made was to have the interim Athletic Director report directly to me instead of to the Vice President for Student Affairs, and I have enjoyed getting to know Paul Stone and learning more about our athletic programs. I anticipate working with Paul to determine how to move athletics forward, how to recruit a permanent Athletic Director, and to make progress toward getting UMPI into a conference," said Schott.
While Stone's appointment was for the 2012-13 school year only Schott decided to hold off on hiring a permanent Director of Athletics for another year so she could get a better sense of the university and the role of athletics here at UMPI.
Stone came to UMPI from ski-powerhouse University of Vermont, where he served as head Nordic Coach for the past four seasons, and where he was named NCAA Eastern Coach of the Year in 2009. He also has been the interim head coach of Colby College (2004-2005 season) and Williams College (2003-2004), prior to taking over the UVM program in 2006. He was also the head coach of southern Maine-based Coastal Nordic Ski Team for the 2005-2006 season. Stone has coached two NCAA Champions and placed skiers in the top 10 at Junior Olympics, NCAA Championships and U.S. National Championships.
"In Presque Isle we have early snow, a 10-minute drive to one of the world's top Nordic venues, a passionately supportive community, the Maine Winter Sports Center, exciting events like World Cup's and World Championships and a quality University that is the best value for student-athletes in NCAA skiing," said Chris Corsello, UMPI's Athletic Director. "Now in Paul, we believe we also have the person who can pull all these pieces together and establish our program."
"The University of Maine Presque Isle has so much going for it, I believe it is only a matter of time before the high school skiers in the East discover the opportunities here," Stone said. "The cost of the colleges that offer an NCAA ski team today puts skiing out of reach for many, but UMPI offers a great education, some of the top skiing facilities in the world and all at half the cost of most schools."
"We believe that, in time, University of Maine at Presque Isle skiers will compete against the best college skiers in the country and in Paul's years of coaching at the University of Vermont, Williams and Colby colleges, he has clearly shown that he is the person to take our program to that level," former UMPI President Don Zillman said.
As a high school junior, Stone was one of the top skiers in the country, qualifying for the World Junior Championships in 1994. He went on to ski for Dartmouth, making their Carnival Team all four years. He won the Cooke Award his freshman year as the top first-year skier, was named MVP of the team in 1997 and was a three-time captain, qualifying to compete at NCAA Championships in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999.
UMPI competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association. The division includes Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Dartmouth, Harvard, Middlebury, St. Lawrence, St. Michael's, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, Williams and the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
Students interested in skiing for UMPI are encouraged to contact Coach Stone at (207) 768-9475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org