Maine football coach Joe Harasymiak is leaving the school, NEWS CENTER Maine has confirmed.
As first reported by Yahoo Sports Pete Thamel, Harasymiak is leaving to take an on-field assistant coaching job at Minnesota.
Harasymiak will be a defensive assistant under current Minnesota defensive coordinator Joe Rossi. Rossi was Maine's defensive coordinator from 2008-2011 where he formed a relationship with Harasymiak.
The university is sad to see him go, but those he's leaving behind are also excited to see what he'll do.
"Well obviously I'm happy for Joe. this has been a dream of his to go to a power five school and have this kind of opportunity so we're going to be very supportive. We wanted to do everything that we could to keep him here at the university of Maine and continue the work that he's done but he's earned this opportunity and we're very happy for him." Maine Athletic Director, Ken Ralph, said.
The search for a new head coach is already on.
"The big thing is for someone to really understand our culture, to understand some of the challenges we have at Maine, to understand the kind of student we attract." Ralph said.
A report this week said Harasymiak was the lowest paid head coach in the CAA this season. He is expected to receive a sizable bump in pay as part of the Minnesota staff.
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Coach Harasymiak led Maine to its most successful season ever, reaching the FCS semifinals for the first time is school history. The Black Bears were 10-4 this season, winning the Colonial Athletic Conference championship. They lost to Eastern Washington in the FCS semis last Saturday.
Harasymiak has been with the Black Bears since 2011. He was named head coach in January of 2016.
Minnesota is a Football Bowl Subdivision school that plays in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers are 6-6 overall this season and are preparing for a bowl game against Georgia Tech on December 26. Harasymiak was reportedly on his way to Minnesota on Thursday afternoon.