USM: Fifield Court Unveiled...

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USM: Fifield Court Unveiled...

Postby Tom Nolette » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:48 am

Fifield Court to Be Unveiled December 1.

GORHAM, MAINE – After nearly 30 years on the sidelines at Hill Gymnasium guiding one of the most nationally prominent and successful NCAA Division III women’s basketball programs, retired USM head coach Gary Fifield has earned nearly every accolade and award available to a coach. Simply put Gary Fifield’s coaching career achieved legendary status.

So what can a University and its athletic department do to adequately honor the time, commitment and sacrifices made by a coach who helped create one of its most successful and recognizable programs over a three-decade term of service? On December 1, the University of Southern Maine and the Department of Athletics will honor and thank Coach Gary Fifield for his service to the USM community and its student-athletes by dedicating the court at Hill Gymnasium in his honor and renaming the playing surface, “Fifield Court.”

"Naming the basketball court in the Warren G. Hill Gymnasium for long-time women's basketball coach Gary Fifield will be the crowning achievement for one of the nation's most successful women's basketball coaches,” said long-time USM Director of Athletics Al Bean. “Gary's legacy at USM is marked by an amazing record of success, including multiple trips to the NCAA Final Four, countless appearances in the NCAA National Championship Tournament, total domination of the Little East Conference, a record of consecutive 20-win seasons and national, regional and conference awards and accolades. Gary built one of the very best programs in the nation and sustained excellence over a 27-year coaching career. He left an incredible mark on USM and the women's basketball program and positively impacted the lives of countless young women along the way. Honoring Gary with the naming of Fifield Court is the right thing to do, and adds to the storied history and tradition of USM Athletics. I'm excited for Gary, his family and USM women's basketball alumni."

USM and the Department of Athletics will unveil “Fifield Court” prior to the Huskies’ women’s basketball game vs. Bowdoin College on Tuesday, December 1 at approximately 7:00 p.m., following the conclusion of the men’s game which will be played at 5:30 p.m. The Fifield ceremony and celebration will precede the women’s game. There will be a reception for Fifield and his family in the Alumni Reception Center located off of Hill Gymnasium for friends, fans, alumnae and former Husky basketball staff at the conclusion of the on-court ceremony and throughout the women’s game.

THE FIFIELD LEGACY
By numbers alone Gary Fifield’s career at USM from 1987 through 2015 is remarkable:

660 wins and a career 82.8 winning percentage
26 NCAA tournament appearances
Five Final Fours
10 Elite Eights; 16 Sweet Sixteens
20 Little East Conference tournament championships
21 Little East Conference regular season championships
In his 27 seasons on the sidelines, Fifield led a USM women’s basketball program that has dominated its Little East Conference competition posting a staggering 322-48 (87.0 winning percentage) overall record against its LEC opponents in regular season play since the league’s inception. And with 20 of the available 28 LEC championship titles calling Gorham, Maine home, the Huskies and Fifield were equally as dominant in conference tournament action with a record of 61-9 (87.1 winning percentage).

With both his and his teams’ tremendous success, Fifield’s awards mantle is full. The 2005 WBCA NCAA Division III Coach of the Year, is a 14-time Little East Conference Coach of the Year and a five-time WBCA District 1 Coach of the Year. Additionally, Fifield is in numerous multiple hall of fame entities, including the New England Basketball, Maine Sports, Little East Conference and Husky Hall of Fame.

With his most recent induction into the Husky Hall of Fame, Fifield was quick to note that all of his accolades are shared with his former assistants, student-athletes and family, commenting “Each award, win and achievement was due in part to the tireless work ethic and commitment of the coaches and players I had around me.”

During his 27 seasons, Fifield’s student-athletes achieved tremendous individual success as he has had ten different players receive All-American or honorable mention All-American honors on 14 occasions. In 2007, two-time WBCA All-American and D3hoops.com National Player of the Year Ashley Marble was named the ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year for the College Division.

Exemplifying the character and class of his student-athletes’ prowess on the court, when the Little East Conference named its 25th Anniversary All-Star team in 2011, not only was Fifield named the head coach, but nine of his former Husky standouts were included in the celebration. Those selected spanned USM teams form the 1985 through the 2009 seasons and included former stars such as Joanna Brown (1994-98), Diana Duff (1985-89), Allison Gagnon (1990-93), Stacey Kent (2003-09), Tracy Libby (1996-99), Nancy Love (1986-90), Ashley Marble (2003-07), Megan Myles (2003-06) and Julie Plant (1996-00).

Fifield’s mark extended well past the wins and championships on the court, however, as many of his former players entered into the coaching profession. Husky alumnae in the coaching ranks include but are not limited to: Julie Plant (Division II, St. Anselm), Shannon Kynoch (Division II, St. Michael’s), Angela Santa Fe (Division III, Regis (Mass.) College) and Angel Elderkin. Elderkin, a longtime assistant coach in the Southeastern Athletic Conference (SEC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Big East, is the most recent addition to the head coaching ranks. Elderkin became just the eighth head coach in Division I Applachian State University women’s basketball history in 2014.

What: Fifield Court Dedication
Who: USM Department of Athletics | Athletic Director Al Bean
Where: Costello Sports Complex | Gorham, Maine | Warren G. Hill Gymnasium
When: Tuesday, December 1 | 7 p.m.

Schedule:
5:30 p.m. – USM Men’s Basketball vs. Bowdoin College
7:00 p.m. - Fifield Court Dedication Ceremony
7:30 p.m. – USM Women’s Basketball vs. Bowdoin College
7:30 p.m. – Fifield Reception | Alumni Reception Room

–cac–

http://www.southernmainehuskies.com/hus ... Dedication
Tom Nolette
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Re: USM: Fifield Court to Be Unveiled December 1.

Postby Tom Nolette » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:21 am

After 27 seasons and 660 wins, ‘retired’ basketball coach Gary Fifield gets his name on USM’s court
'It's really, really very special,' says Fifield, who retired last spring but went right back to work this season, helping a former player coach her Division I team.

Fifield was touched. “It’s really, really very special,” he said.

...But one problem popped up. Fifield did not stay retired for long, becoming an assistant coach for Division I Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

Did he miss it that much?

“I didn’t have time to miss it,” Fifield quipped.

Fifield said he returned to coaching for a simple reason – a former player asked for help.

http://www.pressherald.com/2015/12/01/u ... y-fifield/
Portland Press Herald - allows 10 free reads per month for non-subscribers.
Tom Nolette
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Re: USM: Fifield Court Unveiled...

Postby Tom Nolette » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:48 am

Tom Nolette
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