Prince, Bob (2011)
A high-profile career at Wells High School and the University of Southern Maine earned Bob Prince a bushel full of superlatives at the conclusion of his playing career:
Maine Gatorade High School Player of the Year – 1987
3 – Time ABCA All – American team while at USM – 1990-1992
Sports Illustrated 50 Greatest Maine Sports Figures for 20th Century – 2000
As a precocious 15 year old, Bob pitched and played the outfield on the 16-18 Senior Babe Ruth team out of Wells/York/Noble and won MVP honors at the State Tournament.
Bob played four years of varsity baseball at Wells High School, tossing a no-hitter as a freshman. He compiled a regular season pitching record of 28 – 2 during that span and tacked on 5 more no-hitters. For his dominant mound accomplishments and thunderous hitting performances for the Warriors, Bob was named the Maine High School Gatorade Player of the Year in 1987.
Prince arrived at the Gorham campus of USM in 1988, having been recruited by Eddie Flaherty, and made an immediate impact on the Huskies’ baseball fortunes.
During his stellar four-year career playing for Coach Flaherty, Prince helped the Huskies make three appearances in the NCAA Division III World Series (1989, 1991 and 1992), including winning the school’s first national title in 1991.
In addition to being named to the ABCA All-American team three times, he was named to the All-Northeast and All-New England teams all four seasons. He was named the ECAC Division III New England Player of the Year in 1991 and was on the All-ECAC team four times.
One of the finest hitters in school history, Prince still holds the career record for most doubles (63) and batting average (.414). His career record for most hits (253) stood until 2001, and his RBI mark (177) stood at the top of the chart until 2003. He remains amongst the single season and career leaders in many offensive categories.
Prince recalls the camaraderie of playing with teammates Jim Broughton, John Collins, Mark Caron, Gary Williamson, Tim Curley, Bob Aceto and others in the national title quest of 1991, but is also proud of the ’92 team that battled injuries and adversity to earn one final appearance in the College World Series that fell short.
After his playing days at USM were completed, Bob played professionally in Holland for one season.
After a series of coaching positions, as an assistant at St. Joseph’s, hitting coach with the Sanford Mainers and head coach at Traip Academy and Wells High School, Bob re-united with Flaherty and joined the Huskies baseball staff in 2003. He serves as the primary hitting coach and also works with the outfielders.
Prince, who also serves as the athletic department’s equipment manager and intramural director, received his degree in communication from USM in 1992. He and his wife, Jenn, have three children and reside in South Portland, Maine.
For this USM Husky Hall of Famer (inducted 2001), the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame is proud to confer more well-deserved plaudits on Bob Prince, the man who put up not just statistics, but superlatives in an unmatched career.
Prince sets USM record
May 11, 1991 6:00 am
GORHAM – Bob Prince set a school record for total bases and a tied an RBI mark to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 24-2 baseball win over Bates College here Friday.
Prince slammed two, 2-run homers, a double and two singles for 12 total bases, breaking the record of 11 he held with three other players. He drove in a total of 9 runs, which tied a mark set earlier this season by Mark Caron. Prince was 5-for-5 and was walked intentionally
"Bob Prince, a three-time All-American and a member of the 1991 national championship team, is now the head coach at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, one of the Huskies’ top rivals. He spoke of the life lessons that Flaherty – a renowned storyteller – taught him and all the Huskies.
“Every story is wrapped around education, family, doing things the right way, respecting people,” said Prince. “Those are ingrained in this program and have been since 1985 plus. It’s evidenced from the kids who play for this program.”
Prince, in his sixth year at UMass-Dartmouth, said he often incorporates much of what he learned from Flaherty in his coaching. “One of the smartest things I did when I went to UMass-Dartmouth is I took one of his former players, Marc Ouimet, with me,” said Prince. “And I always talk to him, ‘What would Coach do right now?’ We have that conversation all the time. Just the way he runs his program … it’s always about respect, always about appreciating the moment you’re in, appreciating your opponents …. those things have certainly resonated with me and (I) really model our program after this one.”
Prince said naming the stadium after Flaherty simply means more stories will be told. Mentioning USM senior Paul McDonough, Prince said, “Fifty years from now, your kid’s kid is going to come in here and see Ed Flaherty Stadium and ask your son who Ed Flaherty is. He’s going to tell him and they’re going to start talking about those stories. And that’s going to be passed down years upon years.
“It’s almost like a great band that put out a great CD and it’s there for everybody to listen to the rest of their lives.”
Turning to Flaherty, Prince said, “This is your greatest hit.”
"In just six seasons at the helm of the baseball program, Bob Prince has created a winning culture that has restored UMass Dartmouth to its contender status in the strongest conference in Division III. Prince has compiled an overall record of 122-127 (.490), including three 20-win seasons and pair of appearances in the finals of the Little East Conference Baseball Championship."