L-R: Tony and Sue Randall receive their Stillwater Society giving society recognition from UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph.
Long-time friends of UMaine athletics, Susan G. Randall ’89 and Tony Randall, have established the first-ever endowment for UMaine’s field hockey team, benefitting one of the University’s most successful athletic programs for years to come.
After working in UMaine’s central administration for 25 years, Sue Randall made the jump to work in the athletic department as an athletic business manager in 1995. Despite thinking she would only be working in athletics for a couple of years, she grew to love working in finance for the department.
“When I came down to athletics, I didn’t think I would be staying,” said Sue Randall. “I thought maybe a couple of years. I really loved what I was I doing. I wanted to get more involved with the sports programs. That was an important piece for me.”
Sue would be promoted to the role of Assistant Athletic Director for Business, serving in that position until her retirement in 2015. When field hockey head coach Josette Babineau was hired in 2007, Randall was an athletic administrator for field hockey. Working in finance for the athletic department for 20 years, while having a strong relationship with the field hockey program, showed Sue and Tony the need to create an endowment.
“We are grateful to Sue and Tony for their generous support of our field hockey program,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development Seth Woodcock. “It is especially humbling to see a gift come from a long-time athletic department employee, who has a firm understanding of the importance of endowment building for our programs.
“The Randall’s are true and loyal fans,” Woodcock continued. “It is common to see them at games cheering on our Black Bears. The creation of their endowed fund in support of field hockey is forward thinking, as it is a meaningful gift that will impact one of our most successful programs immediately and well into the future.”
The endowment will help the program with operations costs, and donations to the fund will benefit the program for the long-term. Babineau and her lone assistant, associate head coach Michelle Simpson often have to hold clinics and camps on nights and weekends to help offset program costs.
“Our program is so fortunate to have great friends like Sue and Tony,” said Babineau. “They have formed great relationships with our players and their families. Sue and Tony understand the work that goes into creating a great team culture and a competitive program. Their friendship and support enhance our players’ experience in our program. This incredibly generous gift will continue to benefit our program for years to come. Thank you very much to Sue and Tony for their commitment to field hockey and women’s athletics.”
The endowed fund will grow with the help of donations. The field hockey team had a very successful season in 2018, finishing with a 16-5 overall record, advancing to the America East Championship game for the second time in the last four seasons. The high-octane Maine offense ranked fifth in the nation in goals per game (3.57 goals per game) and 13th in the country in goals allowed per game (1.38 GAA). Maine was nationally ranked the entire campaign, finishing at No. 19 in the final Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches Poll of the season. 2018 marked the fifth time in the last eight seasons that the Black Bears ended the season nationally ranked.
“This is a way to really invest in the future success of field hockey,” continued Randall. “Working with the foundation, the endowment will go a long way with the help of the operations cost with the program. Every little bit counts and will add up.”