Bean, Al (1997)
Al Bean, the indefatigable director of athletics at the University of Southern Maine, demonstrated early evidence of his dedication and determination as a member of the Stewart P Morrill Post American Legion baseball team.
Although still eligible for the Babe Ruth program at the age of 15, Bean elected to step up a year early. A right-handed pitcher, he played for four years under coaches Leroy Rand and Jack Clark, compiling an overall record of 20-2.
After his 1970 to 1974 experience in American Legion, Bean enrolled at the University of Southern Maine. A 1973 graduate of South Portland High School, he was a four-year member of the varsity baseball team under Gene Davis and captained the Red Riots in his senior season. He was also a three-year member of the school’s basketball team.
At USM, Bean was a four-year member of the varsity baseball team under coach Dave Drew. Bean’s pitching ability earned him recognition on the NAIA All-District team, the coach’s award and the team’s Most Valuable Player Award, all in 1976. In 1989 Bean was inducted into the USM Husky Hall of Fame.
After graduating in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in history and secondary education, Bean served as a career counselor and history teacher at Windham High School for four years.
The 1981 yearbook was dedicated in his honor and two years later Bean was selected as class speaker by the graduating seniors.
He continued his involvement with baseball, serving as head coach of the Cape Elizabeth freshmen, directing the Morrill Post/Griffin Club to a 65-18 record from 1978 to 1980, and putting in one-year stints as head coach of St. Joseph's College and the South Portland Baseball Club.
In his capacity as player/coach of South Portland in the Twilight League, Bean led his team to a 30-6 record before losing in the finals of a five-game series with the Auburn Asas.
He later served as player/coach of the Forest Gardens Baseball Club for four seasons, 1982-1985, working as an assistant to Dennis Gratto and taking a turn on the mound.
Bean returned to Legion Ball for two years as assistant coach/pitching coach for the Griffin Club under Mac McKew. The team advanced to the finals of the state tournament in 1986. As manager of Forest Gardens from 1985 to 1989, a team featuring former professional players, and current and former collegiate standouts, Bean lists two championships (1986 and 1987) in the Northern New England League.
Bean returned to his college alma mater in 1983 as director of sports information, a position he held for 10 years while also performing multiple staff and committee duties including designation as assistant director of athletics.
He was confirmed to his present post in 1993 and in January of this year began a term as a member of the NCAA Management Council. Bean continues to serve as Commissioner of the Little East Conference.
During his tenure at USM, Bean has never been far from baseball either as assistant coach or pitching coach The highlight was the Huskies’ victory in the 1991 NCAA Division Il! World Series.
Since assuming his present duties, Bean has relinquished responsibility for the total development and on-going instruction of the pitching staff.
He devotes full-time (what’s new) to USM’s bustling, Successful and ever-expanding program of intercollegiate sports for women and men.