The University of Maine announced on Thursday that they and men's basketball coach Richard Barron have mutually agreed to part ways effective immediately.

"After many conversations with Coach Barron regarding the direction of our men's basketball program, we have agreed that a new voice is needed to lead the team," Director of Athletics Ken Ralph says. "Although a change in leadership is always a difficult situation, we agree that this decision is in the best interest of our student-athletes. Richard has approached every day with passion and energy during his time in Orono. We thank Coach Barron for all of his hard work over his 11 years at the University of Maine and wish him and his family all of the best in the next phase of their lives."

"The University of Maine has been at the center of my life for the past 11 years and I leave the University with a tremendous sense of gratitude and regret," Barron says. "The gratitude is for the wonderful relationships with players, coaches, and so many members of the University community. The regret is that I was not successful in turning around the men's program. I agree with Ken that a new voice is needed and I will always cheer for my successor and all the young men in the program with great loyalty. There are many reasons for optimism around men's basketball, the department, and the University, and now is the right time for a new leader for the program. Thank you Black Bear Nation for some wonderful memories and for all you have done for me and my family."

Assistant Coach Jai Steadman will be interim Head Coach for the rest of the season.

According to the press release, Barron spent four seasons as the head coach of the men's basketball program where he compiled a 21-75 overall record including a 12-41 mark in America East play.

Prior to taking over the men's program, Barron posted a record of 85-89 as head coach of the UMaine women's program. While at the helm of the women's program, Barron was named America East Coach of the Year in 2015.

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