Ashby among four named to UMFK Athletics Hall of Fame

FORT KENT, Maine — Former University of Maine at Fort Kent athletic director and award-winning Coach Bill Ashby is among four named to the UMFK Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2020. 

Jennifer Colpitts, Jimmy Lopez, and Jarryd Phillips have also been selected for their contributions to UMFK Bengals Athletics.

Ashby’s accomplishments at UMFK  are far-reaching. 

“In over the course of 10 years at UMFK as head men’s soccer coach and athletics director, Ashby was the key figure in the explosion of success the athletic teams achieved throughout the decade,” Fletcher Brown, UMFK sports information coordinator, wrote

During a 12-year run coaching the Bengal men, the team won three USCAA National Championships in 2010, 2015 and 2016, earned a spot in the NAIA Elite Eight in 2008, and traveled to the USCAA Final Four or to the championship match eight seasons in a row from 2010 to 2017. 

“Ashby’s coaching record at UMFK sits at an amazing 224-17-6 with a winning percentage of .920,” Brown said. “In 2015, the team went undefeated at 23-0, won the national championship and Ashby was named USCAA National Coach of the Year.”

Ashby was named Sunrise Conference Coach of the Year four times, NSCAA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year three times, and NAIA Region X Coach of the Year twice.

Ashby also has played an integral part in the recruitment of quality coaches and players over the years.

“I try to hire people who are competitive; competitive people don’t let the limited resources stop us from being successful,” Ashby said in 2017. “We set our sights on a goal and do what we can to make that happen. We all work together to help each other. This results in great teamwork and makes all of us successful.”

During Ashby’s tenure as athletic director, UMFK teams won 26 Sunrise Conference regular season and tournament championships, 11 NAIA tournament selections, and nine USCAA national championships.

Ashby was named Sunrise Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2009, Under Armor National Athletic Director of the Year once in 2011 and USCAA National Athletic Director of the Year in 2014. 

Two-sport athlete Jennifer Colpitts “is one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of the University of Maine at Fort Kent,” according to Brown

Colpitts, a Scarborough native, excelled in soccer and basketball at UMFK beginning in 2010. 

She was a member of UMFK’s first-ever USCAA National Championship Women’s Soccer team, a title she helped defend the following year. 

Colpitts helped lead the Lady Bengals basketball team to the Sunrise Conference Final Four and was the Sunrise Conference Rookie of the Year. She also led the women’s basketball teams to back to back appearances at the USCAA National Tournament.

Colpitts repeatedly made the dean’s list as she earned an undergraduate nursing degree from UMFK. 

“Colpitts is the true definition of what it means to be a successful student athlete at the University of Maine Fort Kent,” Brown said. 

A Johannesburg, South Africa native, Jarryd Phillips came to UMFK in 2008 where he played on Ashby’s team in the NAIA Elite Eight as well as the 2010 USCAA National Championship team. 

He was nominated as a USCAA All-American in 2011 and 2012.

After graduating from UMFK, Phillips went on to play professional soccer with the Thunder Bay Chill in the United Soccer League, formerly the Premier Development League. 

He has since served as a performance coach for the Seattle Sounders of the MLS and the head of performance for the Minnesota United of the MLS. 

“Phillips made UMFK incredibly proud as he was able to follow his dreams of playing pro soccer,” Brown said.

Massachusetts native Jimmy Lopez “will go down as perhaps the best 3-point shooter in UMFK history,” Brown said. “Lopez scored 1,738 points in 103 career games; 1,080 of those points coming from behind the arc.”

He was named Sunrise Conference All-Rookie team, a Sunrise Conference First-Team nominee three times and the Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Second-team once. 

Lopez went on to serve as assistant basketball coach for the Bengals and later the Fort Kent Community High School Warriors. 

A Class of 2020 UMFK Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony originally scheduled for September was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An in-person ceremony will be held on a date to be announced. 


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