Presque Isle, ME -
Presque Isle, ME – The University of Maine at Presque Isle is proud to announce three coaching hires for the 2019-2020 seasons. Alissa Edwards has been named Head Women's Softball Coach, Aaron Marston has been named Head Women's Soccer Coach, and Gavin Kane has been named as the Head Men's Golf Coach.
Edwards was a star player for the University of Maine at Presque Isle before suffering a career ending injury early in her junior season. After the injury Edwards put her passion for softball into coaching serving as an assistant coach for the past two seasons while earning her Bachelors in Athletic Training, graduating with honors. She also served as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee President during her junior and senior years. Along with assisting at UMPI, Coach Edwards served as an assistant coach for the Flames of Nebraska Red Hots 18-under team for the past four summers and has spent time as an American Softball Association umpire.
In the spring of 2018 Edwards was named USCAA Academic All-American and has also been awarded two of the most prestige UMPI Athletic Department awards. In her junior year Edwards was recognized with the Al Arman 'Make a Difference' Award and in her senior year was awarded the Stanley Small Coaches Award.
"Edwards has taken on many leadership roles throughout her career at UMPI and has a unique knowledge of the game having played, coached, and umpired throughout her career," said UMPI Director of Athletics Dan Kane. "Women's softball has been very successful over the past few years and Coach Edwards with her work ethic, enthusiasm, and love for UMPI is a great fit for our athletics department and women's softball program."
Edwards takes over a young and talented team that advanced to the North Atlantic Conference Tournament finishing in 3rd this past season. Edwards replaces Sara Shaw who coached the Owls for the past five seasons before taking the Director of Athletics position at Thomas College. The Owls graduate only one senior from this year's squad and returns 16 players including First Team All-Conference shortstop Sarah Dunklee and Second Team All-Conference infielder Melanee Terry.
"I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue to be part of the UMPI athletics department and coach such a great group of softball student-athletes," stated Coach Edwards. "I couldn't ask for a better place to start my coaching career than the University of Maine at Presque Isle. UMPI and the UMPI softball program is very special to me and I look forward to helping the program reach new heights as we continue our quest for our first North Atlantic Conference championship and a berth into the NCAA National Tournament."
Marston help finished out the 2018 season with his wife Keli Marston when Trevor Parent stepped down from coaching midway through the season. After starting the year 0-9 the Marstons helped lead the Owls to two wins in their final six games of the season.
Marston was a four-year starter at center midfield and two-year captain for the UMPI men's soccer team from 1993-1996, helping lead the Owls to an at large bid to the NAIA regional playoffs in 1996. After graduating from UMPI in 1997 he served as a Graduate Assistant for the Marshall University Men's Soccer team who were ranked in the top 25 in the country in Division I. Marston would graduate with his Masters from Marshall University before moving to Florida where he was the Director of a large sports performance facility, training athletes of all sports at the highest level. Coach Marston has a strong history of working with soccer players from youth, middle school, high school, club, collegiate and has helped several players reach the professional level.
Kane on the hire of Coach Marston, "we couldn't be more excited about Coach Marston taking over the women's soccer program. His enthusiasm for not only soccer, but UMPI soccer is second to none. When Keli and Aaron took over midway through the season there was a dramatic change within the culture of the team and we feel the program is heading in the right direction and is in the right hands with Coach Marston."
Marston takes over a young team that returns many of their key players and has one of the strongest incoming classes the program has seen in almost a decade. Coach Marston on his appointment, "I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to UMPI athletics. With some excellent returning players and a talented incoming class, we are expecting to get better and better as the year goes on. I am passionate about coaching this sport and this team and the players have responded by working hard in our non-traditional season which we believe will help us have an improved season next fall."
Gavin Kane has helped turnaround the women's basketball program at UMPI over the past two seasons and will now be looking to do the same with the men's golf program. Kane replaces Joe Zubrick who helped restart the men's golf program after UMPI had to cancel the 2016 season due to lack of interested golfers. Kane will still continue his duties as Head Women's Basketball Coach.
"We are extremely appreciative of the work Coach Zubrick did to help us restart the men's golf program which has been essential to our athletics department," said Dan Kane. "We are excited to have Gavin take over the program and help us continue to build the golf program into a competitive team that can compete at the conference level."
Kane who is mostly known around the state and in New England for his coaching success on the sidelines as a basketball coach has spent much of his professional career on the golf course. He has had golf coaching stints at Dirigo High School and Jay High School as well as served as the Club Manager at Oakdale Country Club in Mexico, ME and as Club Manager at Wilson Lake Country Club in Wilton, ME.
"I'm thrilled to take over the men's golf program. I have several years of experience coaching at the high school level and 12 years as managing different golf courses. I hope to bring experience, enthusiasm, and an excitement back into the golf program here at UMPI," said Coach Gavin Kane.