|Title:||Baseball Head Coach|
Beginning his 28th season as head coach of the baseball team at the University of Southern Maine, Ed Flaherty has firmly established USM as one of the nation’s elite Division III programs. Flaherty has earned an outstanding reputation for his proven teaching ability, discipline and hard-nosed work ethic. His instructional baseball camps are highly regarded and among the best attended in the New England region.
Under Flaherty’s direction, the Huskies first reached the pinnacle of the NCAA Division III baseball world in 1991 when they traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan, and claimed the national championship. That team was the first collegiate team from the state of Maine to win a national championship.
In 1997, the Huskies compiled a school best 39-9 record en route to capturing the program’s second national title. Among that season’s highlights were an 18-game winning streak, winning the first-ever Little East Conference championship, and hosting the NCAA regional tournament.
The Huskies have made four other World Series appearances. Their first trip came in 1989 when they finished fourth. After winning the national title in 1991, they successfully battled their way through the regional tournament in 1992 for a shot at back-to-back titles, but fell short, finishing seventh. USM also went to the World Series in 2000 and 2001.
“The University of Southern Maine is respected for its strong athletic tradition in several different sports,” said Flaherty. “I’m pleased that our baseball program has been able to carry on, and build upon, that tradition during my 26 years here. We have proven that Southern Maine has one of the premier baseball programs in our region and the nation.”
In his 27 years as head coach, Flaherty has compiled an impressive 796-369-4 record (.683 W-L percentage), including 12 seasons with 30 or more wins. Twenty times during his collegiate coaching career, Flaherty has guided the Huskies into a postseason tournament, including 15 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament (1987-2001). His career winning percentage at the start of the 2013 season ranks him 23rd among active NCAA Division III coaches with five or more years of service, and his 796 wins ranks seventh.
Many of his former players have gone on to play professional baseball, including pitcher Mike Welch, who became the first Southern Maine alum to reach the major leagues when the Philadelphia Phillies called him up in 1998.
Last season, Flaherty led Southern Maine to a 27-19 overall record and the Little East Conference regular season and tournament championships. The previous year, the Huskies went 22-19 overall record and a berth in the LEC tournament.
During the four-year period of 2006-09, the Huskies went 131-55, made three appearances in the NCAA regional tournament, advancing to the final round twice, and won the Little East Conference regular season crown in 2009.
In 2005, Flaherty guided the Huskies to a 31-13-1 overall record and a second-place finish in the Little East Conference tournament. The previous season, he led the Huskies to a 28-16 mark and a third-place finish in the LEC championship.
The 2001 season marked the Huskies fifth straight 30-win season with an impressive 37-14 record. The Huskies won the Little East Conference regular season title and the NCAA New England Regional tournament crown along the way to making the program’s sixth trip to the Division III World Series.
A former standout player at the University of Maine, Flaherty has earned many honors throughout his coaching career. He was named 1991 and 1997 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), and was voted New England Coach of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991. In addition, he has been named Diamond District One Baseball Coach of the Year on three occasions (1989, 1991, and 1992). He was named the Little East Conference Coach of the Year in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2009 and 2012.
In January 2005, Flaherty was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Flaherty was inducted along with Gary Adams of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Russ Frazier of Louisburg College (Louisburg, N.C.), Sonny Pittaro of Rider College (Lawrenceville, N.J.), Enos Seymour of the University of Oklahoma and George Valesente of Ithaca College.
The Portland, Maine, native served a one-year term as the president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, and is a past president of the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA). He was just the third small college (Division Two-Three) coach to serve as ABCA president. He also served as an assistant coach for the USA National Baseball Trials in Homestead, Florida, in 1994.
While at the University of Maine (1972-76), Flaherty received his undergraduate degree in secondary education with a double major in history and math. He received a master’s degree in administration from Southern Maine in 1981.
Flaherty received many honors for his outstanding play while a member of the Black Bears’ baseball program, including selection to the NCAA Division I All-American Baseball Team in 1975. He was a key member of the Black Bears’ College World Series team in 1976, played in the Cape Cod Baseball League and was a member of the Pan American Team in 1976. Flaherty was inducted into the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, and into the State of Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Following his graduation from UMaine, Flaherty accepted teaching and coaching positions at Deering High School in Portland. Flaherty guided the Rams from 1981-1985 and picked up state championship honors in 1983. In addition to coaching the baseball team at Deering, Flaherty also guided the Caldwell Post American Legion team from 1982-1985. Caldwell won the state championship and advanced to regional play in 1982 and 1984.
Flaherty, his wife, Debbie, and their three children, Regina, Ryan and Regan, reside in Portland. Ryan was a sandwich-round pick (41st overall) of the Chicago Cubs in 2008 after spending three seasons at Vanderbilt University, and played last season with the Baltimore Orioles after being a Rule V draft pick.
The Flaherty Years
1986 23 14 0 .622 ECAC Championship
1987 29 12 0 .707 NCAA Northeast Regional
1988 22 14 0 .611 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional
1989 31 10 0 .756 NCAA Northeast Regional *; NCAA College World Series
1990 26 10 0 .722 NCAA Northeast Regional
1991 38 6 0 .864 NCAA Northeast Regional *; NCAA College World Series *
1992 30 11 0 .732 NCAA New England Regional *; NCAA College World Series
1993 27 12 0 .692 NCAA New England Regional
1994 27 11 0 .710 NCAA New England Regional
1995 25 18 0 .581 ECAC Championship *; NCAA New England Regional
1996 27 11 1 .705 NCAA New England Regional
1997 39 9 0 .813 NCAA New England Regional *; NCAA College World Series*
1998 30 18 0 .625 NCAA New England Regional
1999 36 13 0 .735 NCAA New England Regional
2000 35 14 0 .714 NCAA New England Regional *; NCAA College World Series
2001 37 14 0 .725 NCAA New England Regional *; NCAA College World Series
2002 28 15 1 .648
2003 28 16 0 .636
2004 31 13 1 .700
2005 25 14 0 .641
2006 32 17 0 .653 NCAA New England Regional
2007 27 15 0 .643
2008 36 14 0 .720 NCAA New England Regional
2009 36 9 0 .800 NCAA New England Regional
2010 22 21 1 .511
2011 22 19 0 .537
2012 27 19 0 .587 NCAA New England Regional
Total 796 369 4 .683
* = Champions