|Organization:||University of Southern Maine|
Beginning his 31st season as head coach of the baseball team at the University of Southern Maine in 2016, Ed Flaherty has firmly established USM among the nation's elite Division III programs. Flaherty has earned an outstanding reputation for his proven teaching ability, discipline and hard-nosed work ethic. His instructional baseball camps are highly regarded and among the best attended in the New England region.
Under Flaherty's direction, the Huskies first reached the pinnacle of the NCAA Division III baseball world in 1991 when they traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan, and claimed the national championship. That team was the first collegiate team from the state of Maine to win a national championship. Six years later, the Huskies compiled a then school best 39-9 record en route to capturing the program's second national title. Among that season's highlights were an 18-game winning streak, winning the first-ever Little East Conference championship, and hosting the NCAA regional tournament.
The Huskies have made six other World Series appearances. Their first trip came in 1989 when they finished fourth. After winning the national title in 1991, they successfully battled their way through the regional tournament in 1992 for a shot at back-to-back titles, but fell short, finishing seventh. USM made back-to-back trips to the World Series in 2000 and 2001, and again in 2013 and 2014.
Through the 2015 season, Flaherty compiled an impressive 911-409-4 record (.690), including 15 seasons with 30 or more wins. Twenty-three times during his collegiate coaching career, Flaherty has guided the Huskies into a postseason tournament, including 15 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament (1987-2001). His career winning percentage at the start of the 2016 season ranked him 18th among active NCAA Division III coaches with five or more years of service, and his 911 wins ranks fifth. All-time, Flaherty ranks 25th in winning percentage and 12th in wins.
Many of his former players have gone on to play professional baseball, including pitcher Mike Welch, who became the first Southern Maine alum to reach the Major Leagues when the Philadelphia Phillies called him up in 1998.
A former standout player at the University of Maine, Flaherty has earned many honors throughout his coaching career. He was named 1991 and 1997 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year by the ABCA, and was voted New England Coach of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991. In addition, he has been named Diamond District One Baseball Coach of the Year on eight occasions (1989, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2009, 2013, 2015). His peers have voted Flaherty the Little East Conference Coach of the Year eight times (1997, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015) since 1997.
The Portland, Maine, native served a one-year term as the president of the ABCA (1999) and now serves on the Board of Directors. He is a past president of the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA). He was just the third small college (Division Two-Three) coach to serve as ABCA president. He also served as an assistant coach for the USA National Baseball Trials in Homestead, Florida, in 1994.
While at the University of Maine (1972-76), Flaherty received his undergraduate degree in secondary education with a double major in history and math. He received a master's degree in administration from Southern Maine in 1981.
Flaherty received many honors for his outstanding play while a member of the Black Bears' baseball program, including selection to the NCAA Division I All-American Baseball Team in 1975. He was a key member of the Black Bears' College World Series team in 1976, played in the Cape Cod Baseball League and was a member of the Pan American Team in 1976. Flaherty was 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.
Following his graduation from UMaine, Flaherty accepted teaching and coaching positions at Deering High School in Portland. Flaherty guided the Rams from 1981-1985 and won a state championship in 1983. In addition to coaching the baseball team at Deering, Flaherty also guided the Caldwell Post American Legion team from 1982-1985. Caldwell won the state championship and advanced to regional play in 1982 and 1984.