STANDISH, Maine -- Saint Joseph’s College has announced the hiring of Ray Putnam as the men’s and women’s cross country coach. Putnam fills the position vacated by Bruce Bickford, who resigned last month.

Putnam comes to St. Joe’s after coaching the Lewiston High School track and field and cross country teams. The Blue Devils’ programs developed into perennial contenders under Putnam’s watch, as the teams combined to win eight championships, including a pair of state titles, during his tenure. For his efforts, Putnam collected eight Coach of the Year accolades, including a pair of Maine Sunday Telegram coaching honors.

Coach Putnam graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1985 with a B.A. in History with concentrations in Political Science and Chinese Philosophy. While at USM, he participated as a member of the Huskies’ varsity cross country team and continues to compete in summer track and field events.

He inherits a talented group of athletes, as the 2010 women’s cross country team finished as the runner-up in the GNAC Championship and a handful of underclassmen appear poised to develop into top runners, perhaps as soon as this season.

He will also serve as the SJC club track and field head coach during the winter and spring months.

Coach Putnam currently resides in Buckfield, Maine and works at LEAP, Inc. in Minot, Maine.