Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle officially announced Tuesday that they have hired Paul Stone as Head Coach of their NCAA Nordic Ski Team.Stone comes to UMPI from the University of Vermont, where he served as head Nordic Coach for the past four seasons, and where he was named NCAA Eastern Coach of the Year in 2009. He also has been the interim head coach of Colby College (2004-2005 season) and Williams College (2003-2004), prior to taking over the UVM program in 2006. He was also the head coach of southern Maine-based Coastal Nordic Ski Team for the 2005-2006 season. Stone has coached two NCAA Champions and placed skiers in the top 10 at Junior Olympics, NCAA Championships and U.S. National Championships.
"In Presque Isle we have early snow, a 10-minute drive to one of the world's top Nordic venues, a passionately supportive community, the Maine Winter Sports Center, exciting events like World Cup's and World Championships and a quality University that is the best value for student-athletes in NCAA skiing," said Chris Corsello, UMPI's Athletic Director. "Now in Paul, we believe we also have the person who can pull all these pieces together and establish our program."
"The University of Maine Presque Isle has so much going for it, I believe it is only a matter of time before the high school skiers in the East discover the opportunities here," Stone said. "The cost of the colleges that offer an NCAA ski team today puts skiing out of reach to many, but UMPI offers a great education, some of the top skiing facilities in the world and all at less than half the cost of most schools."
"We believe that, in time, University of Maine at Presque Isle skiers will compete against the best college skiers in the country and in Paul's years of coaching at the University of Vermont, Williams and Colby colleges, he has clearly shown that he is the person to take our program to that level," UMPI President Don Zillman said.
As a high school junior, Stone was one of the top skiers in the country, qualifying for the World Junior Championships in 1994. He went on to ski for Dartmouth, making their Carnival Team all four years. He won the Cooke Award his freshman year as the top first-year skier, was named MVP of the team in 1997 and was a three-time captain, qualifying to compete at NCAA Championships in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999.
Stone is on the executive committee of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA), which is the eastern division of the NCAA for skiing. The division includes Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Dartmouth, Harvard, Middlebury, St. Lawrence, St. Michael's, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, Williams and the University of Maine at Presque Isle.