UMF Soccer - Men

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UMF Soccer - Men

Postby Tom Nolette » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:43 am

UMAINE-FARMINGTON SPORTS NEWS: Effort well underway to rename

FARMINGTON, Maine – A grassroots campaign to raise $50,000 to improve and rename UMaine-Farmington’s soccer field is off to a flying start, with half of the necessary funds already committed.

Nearly $25,000 was raised during the Campaign’s launch at a golf outing held by Beaver Alums Supporting Student Athletes (BASSA) on Sunday, June 1, at Auburn’s Martindale Country Club. BASSA is a private fundraising group for UMaine-Farmington athletics.

The “Campaign for Leib Field” will culminate with renaming the current pitch for longtime coach Robert Leib, who led both teams to unprecedented success and NAIA Championship appearances during his 30-year affiliation with the programs.

Team shelters, additional seating at several locations surrounding the venue, a post-and-chain system around the playing field for crowd control, a netting system beyond the endlines, and an entrance plaza at the top of the hill overlooking the field are among the proposed improvements.

“I am extremely humbled by this honor,” said Leib. “This is a tribute to all of my mentors, players, and coaches who worked with me for 30 years. I was very fortunate to be in the right place, the right time, and surrounded by the right people. I know that when those people return to the field, they will be proud and reminded of their accomplishments by seeing the renovations and improvements to a field that meant so much to each of them.”

Spearheaded by a number of Leib’s former UMaine-Farmington players and community soccer participants, the Campaign will bring the field up to modern collegiate standards as a tribute to Coach Leib.

“We are excited about this project and the opportunity to work with these engaged alumni and community members to recognize Coach Leib for his accomplishments and contributions,” said Julie Davis, UMaine-Farmington’s director of intercollegiate athletics.

Volunteer co-chairs for the Campaign for Leib Field are Farmington natives and former UMF athletes Seth Woodcock, Megan (Woodcock) Croteau, and Stew Durrell.

“Coach Leib is the backbone of the success UMF soccer has had and what better way to honor his legacy than to work hard to get the field named after him,” said Croteau. “I grew up in Farmington playing soccer under Coach Leib from a young age at the rec department, through my college years at UMF. I chose UMF for many reasons, but one being that I really wanted to play, and succeed, under Coach Leib; he was a genius with the game and was always two plays ahead of the action.”

“As a Farmington native and UMF soccer alum, I consider being part of this effort an honor and a privilege,” said Woodcock. “From the first time my sisters and I ran down the steep steps of Prescott Field with a ball under our arm for a Sunday of games with the Farmington Recreational Soccer program, to collegiate battles alongside lifelong friends wearing maroon and white on the field that will soon bear his name, Coach Leib has had a profound impact on the game and nearly everyone who kicked a soccer ball in the Farmington area.

“I look forward to the Fall of 2015 when we can officially celebrate putting the Leib name on the field where he led so many men and women," added Woodcock.

“Not only did he teach many of us the skills, tactics and teamwork, but he also taught us to respect and appreciate our teammates, many of whom have become lifelong friends. I love the game because of him and there is no one more deserving of the honor of having a field named after them than the brilliant mind of Coach Leib.” said Croteau.

Leib coached UMaine-Farmington men’s soccer from 1977 to 2001, posting a 260-94-34 record and a winning season in each of his 25 seasons at the helm. He coached the Beaver women’s soccer team from 1996 to 2007, guiding the squad to a 151-63-16 mark. Under his tutelage, UMF’s 1986 men’s soccer team and the 2002 women’s soccer team both advanced to the NAIA National Tournament.

Leib’s men’s soccer teams tallied a program-best 15 wins in 1982 and again in 1996. The Beavers nearly matched the feat with a 14-4-0 mark in 2001, Leib’s final season at the helm of the men’s soccer.

He continued to guide the women’s soccer team through the end of the 2007 campaign. During his 12-year run with UMF women’s soccer, the Beavers never failed to post a .500-or-better season, with a program record 17 wins in 2001 and 2003. He led the Beavers to the University’s first berth in an NCAA Division III tournament in 2003, advancing into the Second Round. UMF went 14-5-2 in 2007, Leib’s final season on the touchline, and went undefeated through North Atlantic Conference play with a 9-0-1 mark

Leib also guided the UMF baseball (1978-88, 1990-93) and softball (1994-2008) teams, including a North Atlantic Conference and NCAA Division III Softball tournament berth in 2005.

Numerous UMF alumni have become high school and collegiate coaches and officials across Maine and New England, including two who have remained at UMaine-Farmington: associate athletics director and head women’s basketball coach Jamie Beaudoin ’97, and head women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse coach Molly (Hagstrom) Wilkie ’06.

“Coach Leib was not only my soccer and baseball coach at UMF, but became a very good friend of mine after my days at UMF,” said Durrell. “When I got my first teaching and coaching job at Dexter Regional High School, I stopped by coach’s office to get help on where to start. He took the time to outline a practice schedule for the fall training to lead into the regular season. Then when I moved back to Farmington for my business I would stop by his office once a month just to talk about life. Coach has a great sense of humor – not everyone gets his humor, but I enjoy his take on life.

“Coach’s influence is still being carried on today by his former players and students. Two players I coached back in the 80s became collegiate and club coaches, and both told me that I had an influence on their career choice. Maybe I did have some impact on their lives, but some of that came from the influence Coach Leib had on my life,” said Durrell.

For more information about the Campaign for Leib Field, or if you would like to make a gift in honor of Coach Leib, please contact Kelly Dodge, UMF vice president for University Advancement, at 207-778-7258 or

Tom Nolette
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