When Karl Henrikson became the 15th head coach at University of Southern Maine in 2003, he brought with him a wealth of coaching success as well as memorable experiences of his own days at USM. A four-year player at USM and captain under Joe Bouchard, Henrikson saw the program improve from a 3-19 freshman campaign to a 22-6 mark and qualification to NAIA national tournament as a senior.
Entering his 15th season with the Huskies, Coach Henrikson was named the Little East Conference Coach of the Year for the 2015-2016 season after leading Southern Maine to a second place finish in the Little East Conference - its highest finish since the 1990-91 season. Henrikson guided a high-powered offense that averaged 78.1 points per game.
The first USM men's basketball coach to earn LEC Coach of the Year honors since Dan Costigan (1999-00), it was one of many honors for the veteran coach, who was also inducted into the University of Maine at Presque Isle Hall of Fame for his outstanding coaching career with the Owls, and into the Mid-Coast Athletic Hall of Fame for his remarkable high school and collegiate playing career. Henrikson, a four-year member of the Huskies' squad during his collegiate years (1974-78), served as the captain of the 1977-78 squad that posted a 22-6 record and advanced to the NAIA National Championship.
PRIOR TO USM
Coach Henrikson has had a distinguished career coaching at the high school, prep school, small college, NAIA and professional level. He embraces the challenge of leading his alma mater and has a depth of experience to draw upon in that task.
Prior to taking the post at USM, Henrikson's most recent coaching position was as head prep basketball coach at Maine Central Institute, one of the top prep programs in the country. While at MCI, Henrikson coached 29 players who continued their career at the NCAA Division I level, and his teams won 78 percent of their contests. Caron Butler, who captained Henrikson's first squad, was the seventh pick in the 2002 NBA draft after spending two years as member of Jim Calhoun's University of Connecticut Huskies.
Henrikson began his coaching career in 1978 at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, Maine. While at SMCC, Henrikson's teams were back-to-back conference runner-up and won 32 games in 48 tries. From SMCC, Henrikson returned to mid-coast Maine, the area where he grew up, and coached Lincoln Academy (Newcastle, Maine) to a Western Maine Class B tourney appearance.
Henrikson left Lincoln Academy in 1981 and took on a graduate assistant position at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. Henrikson took classes towards a master's in education while coaching under the tutelage of Dr. Edward Bilik, the legendary coach and current basketball rules editor. Henrikson coached the sub-varsity at Springfield to a perfect 12-0 mark before being named as head coach at Mount Desert Island High School (Bar Harbor, Maine).
At MDI, Henrikson's teams qualified for the Eastern Maine tournament in four of his five years, and Sedge Saunders became MDI's first 1,000-point scorer in 1987. From MDI, Henrikson continued his coaching career at Edward Little HS (Auburn, Maine) leading his 1988 team to a 15-3 mark and a berth in the Class A tournament in both 1988 and 1989. He was named "Coach of the Year" in 1988.
Following two years at Edward Little, Henrikson was named the men's basketball coach and a member of the Physical Education faculty at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1989. During his tenure at UMPI, Henrikson brought the program to a national top twenty-five ranking in 1997 and compiled a 122-79 overall record over nine seasons, producing eight NAIA All-Americans and twice earning coach of the year honors. His teams at UMPI enjoyed seven winning seasons, six NAIA tournament berths, and a Maine Athletic Conference regular season title in 1995.
In 1998, Henrikson was offered an opportunity to coach at the professional level with Namika Lahti in Lahti, Finland. Serving as associate head coach, Henrikson worked with several former Division I and Finnish national team players. Namika competed in both the elite Finnish league and against other clubs from throughout Europe. Following his experience at the professional level, Henrikson returned to the United States to head the MCI program in 1999.
Since his appointment as the head coach of the men's basketball program at USM, Henrikson has worked hard to improve the prospects of the team and is looking forward to continued growth an improvement of USM men's basketball.