Bob Walsh was named the head coach at the University of Maine on May 7th, 2014.
Walsh took over at Maine after running the Rhode Island College program from 2005-2014. He took over a program that had not been to the NCAA Tournament in almost 30 years and presided over the most successful period in the program’s history. He developed a championship program and turned the Anchormen into a national power.
In nine seasons Walsh led the Anchormen to a record of 204-63, including bids to the NCAA Tournament in the last eight. Rhode Island College was one of only five teams in the country to play in the NCAA Tournament every year from 2007-2014. Walsh led his squad to six Little East Conference Tournament Championships and five Regular Season Championships, with the 2007, 2010 and 2011, and 2013 squads earning both. The 2010 and 2011 Anchormen advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, and the 2007 team advanced to the Elite 8, losing to eventual national champion Amherst. That team finished the season at 27-4, with the 27 wins setting a new Rhode Island College record. The Anchormen were the only team in the New England Region of Division III to be selected to eight straight NCAA Tournaments from 2007-14. Walsh was recognized as Coach of the Year eight times – three times as the Little East Coach of the Year (2007, 2009, 2013) and five times as the Rhode Island Sportswriters Coach of the Year (2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014). In 2007 the Anchormen also received the Sam Schonfeld Sportsmanship award as voted on by the ECAC men’s basketball officials.
From 2006-2014 the Anchormen set the standard in the Little East Conference, widely regarded as one of the toughest conferences in the country. The Anchormen posted a remarkable 125-27 record against Little East competition, a winning percentage of .822. The Anchormen appeared in a conference record eight straight Little East Tournament Championship games, winning six of them, posting an overall record of 21-3 in LEC Tournament play. Prior to his arrival, the Anchormen had never appeared in a Little East Tournament Championship game.
Two of the best nights for Rhode Island College under Walsh’s leadership don’t appear in the numbers. In November of 2006 the Anchormen took down Division I Iona College in an exhibition game 71-62, the first win over a Division I team for RIC in over 30 years. They backed it up the following year by traveling to Holy Cross and taking down the Crusaders 61-60 on their home floor.Prior to taking over the Rhode Island College program Walsh was an assistant at Providence College for seven years. Well known as Tim Welsh’s right-hand man on the bench, Walsh was a part of two NCAA Tournament teams and two NIT teams with the Friars. The 2004 Friars earned a #5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed in school history, and the Friars twice posted the most wins in Big East history while Walsh was on the bench.
Walsh started his coaching career while an undergraduate at Hamilton College, a Division III power in central New York. He got his feet wet under legendary coach Tom Murphy at Hamilton, before moving on to be a graduate assistant at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. Walsh joined Brad Holland at the University of San Diego for one season before returning East to join Welsh at Providence in April of 1998.