Dan Kane, UMPI’s new athletic director and men’s basketball coach, is enthusiastic about the upcoming academic year, waiting patiently for students to return to campus and for basketball season to finally be here. Kane observes the friendliness of the UMPI community, especially that of the athletic department. Commenting on the department’s good reputation and supportive nature, Kane said that if you think you may be interested in joining a sport, there is absolutely no harm in trying. In his experience, he’s heard too many students express regret in not joining a sports team and never once heard of students who regretted playing for one of their college teams. And if the sport does not end up working out for them, even by trying it they have put themselves into a whole new community and hopefully made a few friends. If you want to try any of the sports here, go onto the UMPI Athletics website owls.umpi.edu and find the coach of the sport you’re interested in. Than you can call, email or swing by the coach’s office for a visit to discuss joining in. Kane assured that anyone in the athletics department would be happy to talk to you saying, “We’re all nice here.”
This year, the cross country, golf and track and field teams are especially looking for more students to join. Kane noted that some students are sometimes hesitant to join sports teams because they fear it will take away from their school work. But statistically athletes do well in their classes, stay on task and earn their desired degree. Being part of a team can be extremely motivational for doing well in school. It can give students that extra shove of wanting to make their team proud and help them organize their time better.
There are many things to look forward to from the athletics department this year. “There are brand-new bleachers on the soccer field, so come to a game: they’re really nice,” Kane said. The donors for the bleachers were Frank and Margaret McGrath, left as a gift through their will. UMPI has also joined a new athletic conference. The American Collegiate Athletic Association is a multisport Division III conference that UMPI is excited to be a part of.
The coaches have been hard at work in preparation for a successful year. The basketball teams especially have a “really solid group coming back with a really solid year last year,” Kane said. The golf team has many new opportunities this year as well, as its members will be playing on some of the best courses in the state and even just hobbyists at golf can take advantage of this great opportunity with the team. Volleyball coach Jonathan Bowmen has recruited many new women to the team for the upcoming year. And the soccer teams are also looking strong.
All of UMPI’S sports teams are excited for another great year. “We continue to have stronger athletic programs and I expect that to continue,” Kane said. “Coach Homes did a great job, and I’m hoping to build on the momentum from last year.” Kane’s biggest goals: “Increase student athletes and our ability to compete against top Division III teams of the state.”