Deborah Carll Curtis
Hello, Class of ’88. Summer is upon us and our fellow alumni continue to be in the news — both near and far. In October 2019, Daniel Kane was inducted into the Ellsworth High School Sports Hall of Fame for his 1983 role on Ellsworth’s first championship baseball team. At UMaine, Daniel played in 190 baseball games under John Winkin. Since then, Daniel has been the coach at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill for over 31 years, coaching the Eagles as they earned three state championships and 10 regional crowns. He is also a member of the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Daniel, your ability and knowledge of baseball have earned you recognition, but your UMaine classmates also thank you for your more than 31 years working in public education.
Continuing with an education theme, there is news about Peter Murray G. Becoming the head coach for the Dexter Regional High School Tigers basketball position in 1993, Peter is only the second coach for the Dexter boys’ basketball program since their current high school building was opened in 1968. In his 27 seasons as head coach, Peter has had more than 300 wins with the Dexter Tigers. Peter coached under the Tigers’ first basketball coach Ed Guiski for 11 seasons and says that he was “thoroughly impressed” when Coach Guiski earned his 300th win. Now Peter has also hit that milestone. Peter emphasizes work ethic and fundamentals of the sport with his team and his philosophy seems to be working. The Dexter boys won the Maine Class C North regional basketball title on February 22.
Last August, Peter was also honored by the Boston Red Sox as a Most Valuable Educator. “Educators around New England are nominated by students from their school as someone who makes an effort to ensure that every child has the benefit of a great school.” Shannon O’Roak, Dexter’s valedictorian for the Class of 2019, stated in her nomination letter, “Thank you to Mr. Murray for being the most influential teacher I’ve ever had … I think I speak for all of the Class of 2019 when I say you have impacted us all. It’s said that if a teacher changes just one life, then they’ve done their job. Mr. Murray has changed so many lives that they could never be counted.” Peter, thank you for recognizing the importance of both teaching and coaching the high school youth in Maine.
Moving further afield but still within the field of education and athletics is news about Robert “Bobby” Wilder. After 13 seasons, in December of 2019, Bobby resigned as the head coach of the Old Dominion University football team, but in true Maine fashion, he did it with class. As he announced his resignation, Bobby said, “I take tremendous pride in the fact that we built and we ran a first-class program. There were no NCAA violations. We did it the right way. Our players went to class and represented ODU well.” While the last few seasons for ODU may not have gone as well as he would have liked, during Bobby’s tenure as head coach, the team did have years of note, namely when the team made it to the FCS playoffs and were twice nationally ranked. Bobby, thank you for demonstrating that even when things may not go as one would hope, behaving with dignity and grace is always the right choice.
Turning attention to the business world, telecommunications company OTELCO has named General Counsel Trina Bragdon as vice president of human resources and regulatory affairs. Trina will renew the company’s focus on human resources, both in the managerial and employee development and training areas. Prior to joining OTELCO, Trina worked for the Maine Public Utilities Commission and worked in the litigation department of Saul Ewing in Philadelphia, PA. Since joining OTELCO, Trina has had many roles before becoming general counsel in 2012. Congratulations, Trina, on your latest career move!
And in Florida, John Brier is the managing partner of Salt Athletics. In January of 2020, Salt Athletics, a division of Halo Therapy Center, announced that the World Gym in Pensacola was adding Salt Athletics to their 13,000-square-foot facility. World Gym Pensacola owner Ed Weihenmayer ’91 said that there was “no wellness program in the world that can benefit the human body as much as Salt Athletics delivers.” Salt Athletics is a patent-pending application of exercise, red light, and halotherapy that is said to improve a person’s health in a variety of ways and combines low-risk general wellness/fitness products. These products are not regulated by the FDA. For those interested in learning more about the benefits of Salt Athletics, check out their website at SaltAthletics.com. Congratulations, John, on your success!
Rich Goodenough has stepped up to become the new class correspondent, and will be writing columns for future issues of the MAINE Alumni Magazine. By way of introduction, Rich wrote:
“Remembering all the good times living in Penobscot Hall for all four years, being an RA for ¾ of that time. Studied in the School of Business. Ran on the cross country team and indoor track team for my first two years and after that could be seen riding a mountain or road bike or even throwing a Frisbee with the Ultimate Club. Was part of the group that founded the UMaine Cycling Club in my junior year, and that club went on to compete in the collegiate national championship in 1988 at Cal Polytechnic -San Luis Obispo. Now I live in Eliot, ME, with my wife, Kim, and our sons, who are both at Orono, Bryant ’20 and Turner ’22. I work in a bank in southern Maine as a commercial lender and have been the board chair for the Greater York Chamber for the past several years.”