Penn State's Tambroni explains decision not to interview for Maryland vacancy
When Jeff Tambroni agreed last June to leave Cornell for Penn State, his decision stunned lacrosse fans and observers. After all, Tambroni had just guided the Big Red to their third Final Four in the last four years and at least a share of the last eight Ivy League championships.
The move especially shocked the Maryland fanbase because Tambroni had turned down a request by the school’s search committee to interview him and gauge his interest in succeeding Dave Cottle. The Terps eventually hired away Harvard coach John Tillman.
Tambroni, whose wife Michelle is a former field hockey All American with the Nittany Lions and will assist the team, his refusal to interview with Maryland’s search committee should not be interpreted as a sign of disrespect towards the Terps.
“It’s certainly considered one of the premier spots in college lacrosse,” Tambroni said Thursday of Maryland. “An established tradition, a place that cares an awful lot about lacrosse in an area that not only cares but also understands a lot about the sport of lacrosse and where it is amongst the top priorities. Penn State was, I thought, just a little bit different. It was a chance to build. I wouldn’t say from the ground up because Coach [Glenn] Thiel did a pretty good job in his time here of developing the foundation and sparking the interest of lacrosse here in State College. But I just thought in terms of the surrounding area, where State College is located, with my wife’s background here at Penn State, it was an opportunity to build more along the lines with a program that hasn’t had an established tradition of national championships. It was just much more of what I was looking for professionally in that regard. No disrespect to Maryland. I think anybody would be lucky – I think Coach Tillman is, I think Coach Cottle was – to have a program with that much success and cares that much about the sport of lacrosse.”