Standbrook Retiring as Full-Time Coach
CHN Staff Report
ORONO, Maine Grant Standbrook, who has earned the reputation as a master recruiter, is retiring as a full-time assistant coach at Maine. He will remain with the team as a volunteer assistant coach, and will continue to evaluate recruits as they visit campus, but will no longer go on the road.
Standbrook recently finished his 18th season at Maine as assistant coach and primary recruiter.
"I didn't have to wrestle with this decision," said Standbrook to the Portland Press Herald. "I'm 68 and (wife) Joy is, too. It was like, bang, it's time."
Standbrook has earned the reputation for finding diamonds in the rough. First under Shawn Walsh then under current head coach Tim Whitehead, Standbrook always had blanket permission to go on the road without telling the other coaches his whereabouts.
His ability to find players where no one else was looking, and to lurk in arenas, earned him nicknames like the "Grey Ghost" and "The Phantom."
"I am very excited for Grant and Joy as they will be able to spend more time together with their family," said Whitehead. "I fully support his decision and we are thrilled that he will be staying on staff as the volunteer assistant coach. Grant has meant so much to the Maine hockey program over the last 18 years and he is without a doubt the common denominator for the program's unprecedented success during that time."
While Standbrook has been at Maine, the Black Bears have won five Hockey East Tournament Championships, advanced to 10 Frozen Fours and won two NCAA Championships. In 2005, he was honored by the American Hockey Coaches Association with the Terry Flanigan Award for his career work as an assistant coach. While at Maine he has recruited and coached 33 All-Americans and 33 NHL players, along with two Hobey Baker Award recipients and five Hockey East Rookies of the Year.
Before joining Maine, Standbrook was an assistant coach at Wisconsin where he played an integral role in the Badgers winning three national championships during his 12-year tenure at that school. Together with head coach Bob Johnson, Standbrook built a college hockey dynasty, winning national titles in 1977, 1981 and 1983 in addition to reaching the NCAA Championship game on two other occasions.
From 1970-75, Standbrook was the head coach at Dartmouth where he inherited a program with just 29 wins in the previous 10 years, and led the team to the Ivy League Championship game in his third season. He also coached soccer and lacrosse for the Big Green. In 1987-88, he was the head coach of Varese-Kronenberg of the Italian league where he led the team to a second place finish. He was an assistant coach of the 1976 U.S. Olympic hockey team, and the U.S. National teams in 1974 and 1975 and has coached several teams for USA Hockey.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, he is a 1961 graduate of Minnesota-Duluth. Standbrook was a two-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs, scoring 22 goals and adding 24 assists in 31 career games as a center. He also was a member of Minnesota-Duluth's track and field team. A versatile athlete, Standbrook finished second in the Manitoba Judo Championships in 1954. He also played on a Canadian national championship soccer team in 1962 and was a prolific scorer in lacrosse.