Posted by

Rich Kimball Rich Kimball
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The Sports Edge – It’s a family affair

Rate this item
(0 votes)

One of the most overused cliches in sports is “this team is a family”. Every team seems to throw that out there but it rarely rings true. However, this past weekend I got to see an example of not only a team, but a program that truly is a family.

Jack Cosgrove was honored in Portland last Friday night for his 36-year connection to University of Maine football, as a player, assistant coach, head coach and administrator - and it was one of the most remarkable gatherings I’ve ever seen.

Former Black Bears dating back to the 1950s were in attendance and the bond between those former players reaches across the decades. Guys like my broadcast partner Bob Lucy and his brother Jim, teammates Chuck Deluga, Dean Ramsdell, three Keating brothers (Chris, Steve, and Tom) and early 70’s players like Jim Walsh and Steve Harlow all mingled with the likes of more recent Bears like QB Ron Whitcomb, Zach Magliaro, Chad Hayes, Dennis Dottin-Carter and former Kansas City Chief Mike DeVito.

It wasn’t just the former stars who were there to celebrate Jack Cosgrove but the role players, because Jack didn’t make that distinction - they were all important. The night was filled with stories, from the casual conversations to those who were presenters and the theme was the same; that putting on that uniform makes you a part of a lifelong fraternity. Magliaro recalled being diagnosed with cancer and getting a call from his former coach, who then proceeded to drive to Massachusetts to be with him “for as long as you need me here.”

Dottin-Carter, who became interim head coach at Delaware midway through last season, shared the story of the advice Cosgrove provided when he stepped into that position. Even rival head coach Sean McDonnell of New Hampshire was there to explain that, despite the intensity of the competition, they have become great friends and take pride in each other’s accomplishments as the bastions of Division 1 football in Northern New England.

Everybody had their favorite moments to recall, including program-defining wins at Mississippi State (the first over an FBS opponent), McNeese State (the first playoff victory), and a pair of postseason triumphs at powerhouse Appalachian State. The wild overtime at James Madison University certainly came up but most of the stories were about practices, bus rides, plane flights and the friendships that have only become stronger as the years have passed.

For those who only look at sports in terms of the numbers, there is the fact that Jack Cosgrove is the winningest coach in University of Maine history and led them to five playoff appearances. Jack will be the first to say that he is also the losingest coach in Black Bear history and like his friend Sean McDonnell, Jack knows that every win was the result of overcoming huge challenges, from geography to finances. He often said Maine players had to carry a chip on their shoulders as they competed with rivals from programs that had many more advantages and perhaps that attitude is what has led so many of those Black Bears to find success, whether in the NFL, in business or simply in life. They knew they had to work a little harder than everyone else and they’ve taken that approach with them into the world beyond Orono.

Wins are certainly the goal in sports and as people often say, that’s why you keep score. Last weekend’s gathering paid tribute to many of those moments in Maine’s football past but the focus was on something greater. It was a celebration of a coach who put people first, whose commitment to them didn’t end when their playing career wrapped-up, and a program that has forged an unbreakable bond among all who have played and coached there.

If that’s not family, I don’t know what is.


  • Comment Link Emil Sunday, 17 September 2017 08:39 posted by Emil

    You actually make it seem so easy along with your presentation however I
    find this matter to be really something that I believe I might never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely huge
    for me. I am having a look forward for your next put up, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

  • Comment Link Pasquale Friday, 08 September 2017 20:17 posted by Pasquale

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you really realize what you
    are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally
    talk over with my web site =). We may have a hyperlink change agreement among

  • Comment Link Swen Friday, 08 September 2017 07:28 posted by Swen

    I'm gone to convey my little brother, that he should also go to see
    this blog on regular basis to get updated from most recent information.

  • Comment Link Jeff Sunday, 03 September 2017 02:00 posted by Jeff

    Hello, of course this post is in fact fastidious and I have learned lot of things
    from it regarding blogging. thanks.

  • Comment Link Tiffany Friday, 01 September 2017 03:02 posted by Tiffany

    I've been browsing online more than 3 hours lately,
    yet I never discovered any fascinating article like yours.
    It's lovely price enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as
    you did, the internet will be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  • Comment Link Norberto Wednesday, 30 August 2017 07:15 posted by Norberto

    This paragraph will assist the internet users for creating new
    web site or even a blog from start to end.

  • Comment Link Emmett Sunday, 20 August 2017 16:29 posted by Emmett

    I am extremely impressed together with your writing skills and also
    with the layout to your weblog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you
    modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent
    high quality writing, it's uncommon to look a great blog like this one nowadays..

  • Comment Link Meridith Thursday, 17 August 2017 12:22 posted by Meridith

    Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web
    site, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The
    account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a
    little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  • Comment Link Tara Thursday, 17 August 2017 11:08 posted by Tara

    Great post.

  • Comment Link Ricky Tuesday, 15 August 2017 16:52 posted by Ricky

    We stumbled over here coming from a different
    web page and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 Next > End >>

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.


Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine