GORHAM — After 18 seasons leading the University of Southern Maine Huskies' men's basketball program, USM and Georges Valley High School alum Karl Henrikson (USM '79) will retire from his alma mater as the longest tenured men's basketball coach in university history, according to a news release.
A steadfast, dedicated, and light-hearted member of the University of Southern Maine Huskies' Athletic Department for nearly two decades, Henrikson returned to his alma mater in 2003 after successful stints at the professional, collegiate and preparatory school ranks. A skilled teacher of the game, Henrikson was named the Little East Conference Coach of the Year for the 2015-2016 season, and he has been inducted into both the Midcoast Athletic Hall of Fame and the University of Maine at Presque Isle Hall of Fame for his achievements as a player and coach of the game.
As a collegiate student-athlete, Henrikson was a key member and team captain of several highly competitive teams while at Southern Maine (formerly UMaine Portland-Gorham). Playing for legendary coach Joey Bouchard, Henrikson helped lead USM to the NAIA National Championship in Kansas City. During the 1977-78 season, Henrikson helped the Huskies to a 22-6 record.
In addition to his nearly two decades of service to Southern Maine student-athletes as the men's basketball coach, Henrikson also took on additional responsibilities as the Director of Summer Sport Camps, including hosting popular and well-attended Boys' Swish and team camps. Henrikson also served as the department's coordinator for its academic minor in Coaching Education.
USM Director of Athletics Al Bean announced Friday a national search for Henrikson's replacement will begin shortly with the goal of having a coach in place prior to the start of the academic year.
"I want to congratulate Karl on a truly outstanding career as a basketball coach, educator and mentor. Karl's coaching, teaching and steady guidance has been instrumental in the personal development of countless student-athletes throughout his career," said Bean. "He has exceptional knowledge and skill as a basketball coach, and has successfully led teams at the high school, prep school, collegiate and professional levels. Karl has always seen the big picture, he is an educator first, and has consistently worked at building and sustaining positive relationships with student-athletes as well as his colleagues and peers. I want to thank him for his strong commitment, professionalism and many contributions to USM Athletics during the past 18 years. I wish Karl great happiness and the best of luck in the next chapter of his life."
Coaching for more than 40 years, Henrikson began his career on the sidelines in 1978 at Southern Maine Community College, making stops at Lincoln Academy, Edward Little High School, Mount Desert Island High School, Maine Central Institute, Springfield College, UMaine Presque Isle and the Finnish professional league with Namika Lahti.