Maryland Coaching Search
The surprising retirement of Gary Williams from his alma mater after 22 seasons has left the University of Maryland in a coaching search. To this point, the Maryland Coaching Search as been one of waiting since reports originally thought a successor would be announced by this morning – well, Monday morning game and went without a new head coach. Fans, college basketball analyst, and followers of the Terrapins may be a little concerned – most would consider Maryland one of the more attractive jobs in the country because of location and conference – because reports have their top choices all rejecting the schools offer, or showing no interest in the position. Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has lead the charge in finding a new coach, and reports today have University President Wallace Loh joining Anderson to compile a list of possible targets. Replacing Gary’s success and passion was not going to be an easy feat for the new head coach, but I doubt anyone thought it would take the University this long to find the guy to give it a try.
We can speculate on what the list of candidates will look like, but until an announcement is made – we better not speculate on who the coach will be. I think most fans and reporters would agree, since Arizona’s Sean Miller was all but heading to College Park before a meeting even took place. By now we know the names who won’t be on the list, led by ‘creme of the crop’ pick Brad Stevens of Butler who had to be the Terps top choice. Other coaches joining Stevens and Sean Miller on the “not going to Maryland” list include Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon, and Villanova’s Jay Wright. Those are the five guys who we know for sure wont be the next Maryland coach, but two names who may be joining them soon are Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Texas A&M’s Mark Turgeon.
Some reports have Mark Few already turning the Terps down, but I think he may still have a 5% chance until I see something confirm that report. As for A&M’s Mark Turgeon, it seemed as if he was the leading candidate Sunday evening but reports never really formed to support that (possibly because no formal talks took place between the sides). I have heard rumblings this morning that its ‘unlikely but wouldn’t be shocking’ for Turgeon to leave Texas A&M, so lets give him a 30% chance on the hopes of when he returns from vacation and the sides meet he is interested. While those seven coaches are the biggest names we know in the search, Maryland may have to settle for a less attractive name.
Good coaches always start off somewhere, so if Maryland does indeed take the ‘smaller’ named guy it does not necessarily mean it wouldn’t be a good hire. Sure, it wouldn’t be what fans have hoped for and the University may take a hit in the media as not being an appealing job – but ultimately, you want a coach who wants you. Who may the ‘other’ coaches be that Maryland has an interest in?
* Johnny Dawkins (Stanford)
* Chris Mooney (Richmond)
* Rob Ehsan (Maryland assistant)
* Shaka Smart (VCU)
* Tubby Smith (Minnesota)
* Chuck Driesell (The Citadel)
* Gregg Marshall (Wichita State)
* Brent “Buzz” Williams (Marquette)
* Bruce Pearl (most recently, 2010, Tennessee)
* Darrin Horn (South Carolina)
* Dave Odom (most recently, 2008, South Carolina)
* John Lucas (MD alumni, former NBA coach)
Of course this is just my speculative list from what I’ve read, but I’m sure there would be other coaches not listed who may have some interest. I don’t know who would be the best hire, but I’d hope they continue to build what Gary Williams has over the past two decades – hence, a program that isn’t under investigation or sanctions from the NCAA. Gary has left Maryland’s men’s basketball program in a better situation than the one he inherited 22 years ago – so while we don’t know who will lead the future of Maryland basketball, we do know that the future looks bright.
Obviously, Maryland will find a new coach but most importantly they’ll find a coach who wants to be at Maryland – so while it may not have come as quick as originally thought, sometimes you have to wait on a good thing.