PAWTUCKET, R.I. – University of Southern Maine's head baseball coach Ed Flaherty has been leading one of the most successful and widely respected baseball programs in the nation. As he enters his 32nd season at the helm for the Huskies, Flaherty has accumulated a career record of 940-422-4 and captured two NCAA Division III Baseball National Championships in eight College World Series appearances.
Under Flaherty's direction, the University of Southern Maine became the first collegiate program from the State of Maine to win a national championship after they defeated TCNJ 9-0 in 1991 and finished with a 38-6 overall record. The Huskies reached the pinnacle of the baseball world for the second time in 1997 as they won the program's second national championship with a 15-1 win over Wooster in Salem, Va.
Coach Flaherty is known for his outstanding reputation as a proven teacher of the game and the discipline and hard-nosed work ethic he brings to the office every day and has developed one of the most highly regarded instructional baseball camps in the New England region.
The 1997 NCAA Championship run was highlighted by an 18-game winning streak, capturing the first-ever Little East Conference championship and had the opportunity to host the NCAA regional tournament. The Huskies became the second program in New England to capture multiple national championships, joining fellow LEC member, Eastern Connecticut State.
The Huskies claimed several national statistical titles over the years as they led the nation in batting average twice in 1991 (.382) and 1993 (.365). The Huskies also led the nation in hits in 1993 (567) and 2013 (700). Led the nation in total home runs in 1993 (62) and again in 2013 (45) and was the nation's leader in total bases in 1993 (821), 2013 (1,036) and 2014 (837).
En route to the 2013 national title game, the Huskies compiled a 19-game winning streak during the regular season, won the Little East Conference regular season and postseason tournament titles for the second straight year, and captured their seventh NCAA regional title. Three players - Tucker White, Nick Grady and Logan Carman - were named ABCA/Rawlings first team All-Americans, and White was named the Division III Player of the Year. Two years later, Sam Dexter and Andrew Richards were named first team All-Americans, and Dexter was the Division III Player of the Year.
Coach Flaherty was named the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association twice, following both NCAA championship runs in 1991 and 1997. He also was named the New England Coach of the Year in three consecutive seasons (1989-1991) and voted Little East Conference Coach of the Year seven times by his peers.
Coach Flaherty was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January 2005 and has also been inducted into the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, the State of Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993, the Little East Conference Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Many of his former players have gone on to play professional baseball, with pitcher Mike Welch becoming the first Huskies player to reach the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1998. Most recently, the Huskies' standout, Sam Dexter became the 12th USM player to be drafted after he was selected in the 23rd round by the Chicago White Sox in the MLB First-Year Player Draft last June.
The historic competitive success the LEC has achieved throughout the 30 years, beginning as a basketball only conference in 1986 and expanding into today's 19-Championship Sport Conference, will continue to make academic and athletic strides as the LEC continues to be the premier Division III conference of the New England region.
The Little East Conference was formed in 1986 when six public institutions gathered to create a single sport athletic conference and has expanded into what is now New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC features 19 Championship Sports and sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes while following the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.