Farmington, Maine – On Saturday afternoon, Dick Meader, the men's basketball coach at the University of Maine at Farmington, was presented The Sam Schoenfeld Sportsmanship Award from the Collegiate Basketball Officials Association (CBOA). The ceremony took place on MacPhee Court in Dearborn Gymnasium prior to the tip-off versus Thomas College.
"This is the highest honor that CBOA bestows on any collegiate institution," said Larry Last, the New England College Officiating Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officiating. He and Tom O'Connor, the Executive Director of CBOA were there to present the award alongside North Atlantic Conference Commissioner Marcella Zalot and UMF's Director of Athletics Fitness & Recreation, Julie Davis.
Dick Meader has been at the helm of the University Maine at Farmington's men's basketball program since 1993. Prior to coming to Farmington, he served 17 years as the head men's basketball coach at Thomas College.
"When the CBOA contacted us about Coach Meader's selection, we were thrilled for him. It is wonderful to know that others far and wide recognize the character and integrity Dick embodies and we hold dear. Doing things the right way consistently matters to our program, and to our University. I know his colleagues and our student-athletes congratulate him and think he is most deserving" said Julie Davis.
"We are so fortunate to have Coach Meader as our coach at UMF. He has great knowledge, is a tremendous teacher of the game and connects with players in a manner which helps them grow and have an opportunity to reach their potential. He is also a man of great integrity who represents our school in a first-class manner. I feel fortunate to have him as both a mentor and friend" said Steve Clifford, a 1983 graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington, and current head coach of the Orlando Magic.
Remarkably, over Coach Meader's 43 years coaching, he has been inducted into five Halls of Fame including the University of Maine Farmington, Thomas College, Maine Basketball, Maine Sports and New England Basketball.
"As a four year player for Coach Meader one of the things that stands out to me is, in each game, we played how well he prepared us for our opponent that day. His attention to detail was very complete. Looking back it was a pleasure to play for such a good coach and a better person" said Steve Busque, a 1983 graduate of Thomas College.
Sam Schoenfeld, former college basketball great who possessed a great deal of energy, impeccable honesty, and a charismatic personality, was one of the CBOA's founding fathers. Sam espoused integrity and strong character, which set him apart from most men. A brief illness took Sam's life in early 1956 and as a result, CBOA decided to memorialize Sam through an award that would be annually presented to a person who exemplified the principles and characteristics so prominently displayed by Sam Schoenfeld. Accordingly, the award is presented to the college or university, which in the judgment of the CBOA membership, best exemplifies "the highest degree of sportsmanship, character, and ethics among their players, coaches, and spectators."
~Photo and story courtesy of UMaine-Farmington Sports Information