Head Coach Maria Lewis
Maria Lewis begins her second season as head coach of the Black Bears. In her first season, Maine doubled its win total from the year before, both overall and in Hockey East. The team returned to post season play for the first time since the '06 season.
The Black Bears finished the year strong as they went 2-2-1 in their final five games, all of which were against top ten opponents. The two wins came against seventh ranked Boston College, 4-3, and fourth ranked Boston University, 3-2. The Black Bears were the only team in the country to beat both BC and BU last season. The team earned a trip to the Hockey East Quarterfinal, where they ended up losing a tough battle to tenth ranked Providence College. Under Lewis' guidance, the Black Bears tallied 35 more points than the previous season and the team had nine players with double digits in points. The team's success on the ice was matched by their hard work in the classroom. Sixteen members of the team were named to the 2010-11 WHEA All-Academic Team, the most from any team in Hockey East.
Lewis came to the University of Maine in 2010 after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. She was involved in numerous aspects of the program at North Dakota with an emphasis on recruiting for the Fighting Sioux. Lewis was responsible for coaching the defensemen during her last season, while working with the forwards the previous two seasons. In 2009, she served as an assistant coach for the WCHA All-Star Team. The team played against the US Olympic Team at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., during team USA's Qwest Tour. In addition, Lewis advised and monitored academic progress and achievement. She also mentored student-athletes for personal and professional growth. While at UND, Lewis played a large role in the recruitment of Michelle Karvinen, who is a top player in Europe and won a bronze medal with Team Finland.
Lewis served as an assistant coach at Mercyhurst College from 2000-2006, including the 2005-2006 season when she was Associate Head Coach. While at Mercyhurst, she coordinated and assisted with all aspects of recruiting and assisted with the implementation of on-ice hockey systems. She also aided with skill development of the forwards, the defense corps and goaltenders. She broke down video, coordinated team travel, monitored academic progress and created the recruiting database. She also organized a booster club for increasing the fan base and awareness of the program. While at Mercyhurst, Lewis recruited Canadian gold medalist Meghan Agosta and Swedish National Team player Angelica Lorsell.
Lewis served as a volunteer assistant at Maine during the 1999-2000 season. She assisted with the implementation of on-ice hockey systems and with skill development. Lewis has also served as a head coach at various skills camps over a 12-year period in addition to several development camps and try-outs for USA Hockey from 2001–2007. She also was a speaker at the USA Hockey Coaches Certification Clinics for Level 2 and 3 in 2006 as well as the Program of Merit in 2004.
Lewis is a 1999 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor of science in business management with a concentration in psychology. She received her masters in organizational leadership from Mercyhurst College in 2002.
Assistant Coach Richard Reichenbach
Reichenbach enters his second season at the University of Maine for the 2011-12 campaign. Reichenbach came to the Black Bears after serving as an assistant coach at Cortland where he was responsible for recruiting and organizing team travel, organizing practices and video breakdown/review. He is specifically assigned to work with the defense.
Reichenbach is currently enrolled in the masters program in Sport Management at Cortland State. He is an alumnus of Millbrook School in New York. After graduating from Millbrook, Reichenbach spent one year as captain of the Helena Big Horns and playing for the Nepean Raiders Tier II Jr. A hockey teams in the NAHL and COJHL. Reichenbach, a 2006 graduate of Hamilton College, captained the Hamilton hockey team his senior season. After graduation, he played a year of professional hockey with the Richmond Renegades of the SPHL
Reichenbach is originally from Baldwinsville, N.Y.
Assistant Coach Tyler Bilton
Tyler Bilton enters his first season with the University of Maine women's ice hockey team after serving as an assistant coach with the Dartmouth High School (Nova Scotia) boys team last season.
Bilton has worked many hockey camps and clinics including USA Hockey's Women Yankee Conference Festival and Development Camp, Okanagan Hockey School, Elite Hockey Camp, Pro Ambitions Camp, and Full Stride Girls Camp. Tyler has also been an assistant coach with the Vermont Stars Girls Spring Hockey program working with the U10, U14, and U17 teams.
A native of Penticton, British Columbia, Bilton attended the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame where he helped his team win the Bantam AAA South Saskatchewan League Championship. After Notre Dame, he embarked on a five year junior hockey career making stops in the BCHL, AJHL, and KIJHL.
After juniors, Bilton earned his associate degree in business marketing from St.Clair College (Windsor, Ontario) in 2007 and his bachelor of science in business administration from Saint Michael's College (Colchester, Vermont) in 2009. While at Saint Michael's College, Bilton helped the Purple Knights win two Northeast-10 Conference championships and was named championship MVP both times. Other honors he earned while at Saint Michael's included: All-Conference Team (2009), goaltender of the year (2009), and ECAC/Northeast-10 All-Academic team (2008, 2009). Tyler also holds five school records.
After graduation, Bilton played professionally in Europe for a season leading his club to their first ever championship game. He also earned league MVP and goaltender of the year honors while leading his Team World to victory over Team Europe in the All-Star Game.
Assistant Coach Kevin Sommer
Kevin Sommer enters his second season as an assistant coach at the University. Last season, his major role was video coordinator in breaking down, analyzing and reviewing game films. A side from that, he was in charge or planning and organizing team travel, acquisition and disbursement of team equipment, recruitment of prospective student athletes, and various team functions including the Hockey East Skating Strides Breast Cancer awareness game, which raised over $4,000 to be donated to the Patrick Dempsey Cancer Foundation in Lewiston, Maine.
For the 2011 season, Sommer will continue to run the video editing system, organize team travel, and oversee equipment as well as other various team affairs and events.
Sommer has worked various summer camps including the USA Hockey U-15 girls national development camp held in Rochester, NY in 2010. He has also worked for Elite Hockey, Manchester Junior Monarchs, Heartland Hockey Camp, and Penobscot Hockey Conference.
Sommer, originally from Manchester, N.H., graduated from the University of Maine in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Physical Education with a specific focus on Coaching.