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Finding right guy to coach Terps won't be easy

By Don Markus

Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson has a rare opportunity for someone in his position; - hiring coaches in two major sports in a span of four months.

It's not exactly the most enviable situation for somone who is both untested in the world of big-time college athletics and under scrutiny after making his first big hire. 

Thursday's announcement that Gary Williams is retiring after 22 seasons in College Park has certainly put the spotlight, if not the bull's eye, back on Anderson, perhaps even brighter and bigger than it was when he fired Ralph Friedgen back in December.

But this time, the first-year Terrapin athletic director has the benefit of having Williams, who has agreed to stay on as a special assistant, to help recruit his own successor.

It's likely going to be a lot easier than it was in replacing Friedgen.

But it's still not going to be easy. 

While he won't have the constraints of a two-week window closing in on him, as he did by announcing that he wanted someone on board for football before the recruiting period began in early January, Anderson does not want to risk losing the recruits who Williams already signed on for next season or even 2012.

There's certainly the possibility that Williams has already lined up a big-name successor - given the sudden nature of his announcement - and will introduce him personally at the news conference Friday where he will talk about his reasons for retiring and, perhaps, give one final fist pump in Garyland.

Who knows if Williams, more respected among his peers than by a fan base that has waned with Maryland's inconsistencies the past nine seasons, hasn't already convinced a Jay Wright to leave Villanova or a Sean Miller to exit Arizona or a Jamie Dixon to depart Pittsburgh or a Rick Barnes to bolt Texas?

About the only one whose name has been mentioned that might make sense is Notre Dame's Mike Brey, whose local roots run deep.

But you would think that the former Duke (and DeMatha) assistant has put himself back near the top of the list of coaches who will succeed Mike Krzyzewski. When word reached South Bend that Williams was on the verge of retiring, and Anderson was interested, Notre Dame officials were reported to be drawing up an extension.

Former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, one of Williams' closest friends, told me late Thursday night that even Williams might not be persuasive enough to help Anderson to lure a big name if he hasn't done so already.

"People are not going to move laterally, unless there are some circumstances involved that you and I are not aware of," said Tranghese, alluding to Brey's ties to the area or underlying issues that have not been made public about other big names. "It's going to be a difficult challenge for what is a really good job."

Tranghese said that Anderson should not be concerned about how the introductory press conference is going to play and think about the long-term.

"After the press conference, nobody cares about that kind of stuff," Tranghese said. "All they care about is who you recruit and how many games you win. You've got to go out and find the best coach and sometimes the best coaches come from places you don't expect them to come from."

But even the hottest names after this year's NCAA tournament seem to be locked up.

Brad Stevens has already turned down a number of overtures to stay at Butler, and Shaka Smart reportedly rejected some big money from North Carolina State -- and former Maryland AD Debbie Yow -- to remain at VCU. Ditto for Chris Mooney, who signed a 10-year deal at Richmond. There's Jim Larranaga, who recently left George Mason for Miami. And Mark Few, who turned down UCLA a couple of times to stay at Gonzaga. 

So where does that leave the Terps?

Maybe Anderson -- and undoubtedly Williams -- should think locally rather than nationally.

Jimmy Patsos will certainly have his supporters, but has the popular former Maryland assistant done enough at Loyola to make a jump to College Park? How about Jeff Jones, finishing a decade at American (including a win over Maryland) after a successful run at Virginia ended badly on and off the court.

Or perhaps Todd Bozeman.

According to some of his friends, Williams likes Bozeman, whose Morgan State team also upset the Terps a couple of years back at Comcast Center. But can Anderson and new Maryland president Wallace Loh overlook the baggage Bozeman brought back to Baltimore from California that has seemingly prevented him from getting serious consideration for any other job beside the Bears? Towson wouldn't even interview him when Pat Kennedy was fired.

Personally, I would love to see Anderson convince Brey to come home and take on Coach K a couple of times a year or for Barnes to return to the ACC and once again be "the new sheriff" in town as he was when he was at Clemson and stood up to Dean Smith in the ACC tournament. I also wouldn't mind seeing Anderson giving Jones or Bozeman a second chance at the big-time -- in Bozeman's case making the kind of hire that I thought he should have made by bringing Mike Leach to Byrd Stadium.

Loyalty is a big thing to Williams, and nobody has been more loyal than Patsos, who along with former assistant Billy Hahn (now at West Virginia) deserved a lot of credit for Maryland's most successful period in school history from the mid-1990s through the national championship in 2002.

With no obvious candidates on Williams' current staff, it's likely that Maryland's next coach is going to be come from outside Comcast Center. 

We'll start seeing how this process is going to work at the press conference Friday.

There will be cheers and tears and, perhaps, that one last fist pump. Then it'll be time to find a successor.

Unless someone's already in place, it's not going to be easy.

Comments

Chris, I think you are thinking small time. This is a big time job. Names mentioned are Jay Wright, Jamie Dixon, Sean Miller, and such. The Alumni will never settle for a Jeff Jones or a Todd Bozeman. Not when two of our biggest recruits in recent years are hanging in the balance.

Just bring in someone that can recruit. Someone that can get the local stars to go to school at Maryland instead of going to other programs. Maryland needs 4and 5 star recruits and not the 1 and 2 star ones they've been bringing in for years.

This pretty much directly conflicts w/ the national consensus (as represented by Telep, Katz, et al ); while it may not be easy to lure someone away in the Spring, the job is only "lateral" for handful of coaches. The fact is, most national college BB columnists/reporters look at Maryland as a top-20 job, if not a top-10 job.

Not a single one of those local hires would satisfy the fan-base, and Anderson cannot risk squandering enthusiasm again.

Ugh, Patsos? Nice guy, good personality, but he hasn't done squat at Loyola, and I can't see him getting it done in College Park. If that's the best we can do, we're in trouble.

This is complete hooey. All indications are that the Maryland job is so sought after that we'll get a high-quality coach who runs another high-level program. Think Miller or Wright. By the way, who wrote this--Markus or Korman?

If it's not too late, I would like to announce that I could be open to becoming the new Terps head coach. Here is what I would bring to the table:

-Like Gary, I could commit to NOT taking the Terps to the NCAA or NIT tournaments, NOT spending any effort on recruiting, and NOT showing any interest in maintaining good relationships with fans, the media, my bosses, etc.
-However, I would be willing to do all of this for a mere fraction of the $2.3 million that Gary Williams took home in 2010. Obviously, negotiations would need to play out, but I could see an acceptable salary in the $1M range, yielding a $1.3M savings for the University!

So there you have it- I could accomplish exactly what Gary did in 2010, at less than 40% of the cost. Kevin, let's talk!

I don't know why I keep coming back to him but MD might want to take a look at Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon. He played and coached under Larry Brown, was an assistant to Roy Williams, has made A&M into consistent winners.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Turgeon

Dude, what are you smoking? Jimmy Patsos? Jeff Jones? Even Mike Brey would be an uninspired choice. Duke can have him if they're looking for a successor to Coach K.

If Kevin Anderson's first call isn't to Brad Stevens, he should be fired for incompetence.

Rick Barnes? Shouldn't the Terps at least respect Gary enough to replace him with a coach who can actually, you know, coach?

Andrew = Bonehead....how many NCAA titles do you have? How many players have you sent to the NBA? For that matter, who ever the hire is at MD, how many NCAA titles will he bring with him. Be thankful for what you had in Gary Williams!

Maryland fans are insane. A Jeff Jones, Todd Bozeman or Jimmy Patos is what you can expect. Mike Brey would a GREAT reach. Maryland is simply not an elite program -- it never really has been.

Maryland is not a top 10 program, not even a top 25 program. If you think you're getting Rick Barnes, Sean Miller or Jamie Dixon -- you're going to be very disappointed.

The program doesn't need loyalty, it needs a good coach. The season Maryland won the national championship, it was pointed out to me by a fellow alum that the best thing that happened to Maryland BB was that Billy Hahn left the program.

Hahn was just like that amplifier you had installed in your car back in the 70's. It made your 8 Track so loud you couldn't even hear. All Hahn did was amplify GW. You could see it on the faces of the players. Once Hahn left, the tension was gone. Maryland doesn't need that back.

The Terps need someone who can run a clean program and recruit from the area. Dixon and Wright have done that. Miller is a fine coach as well. And Brad Stevens would be a great catch if he is so incline.

As for Bozman or Jones, Maryland can not afford a Mulligan.

I don't see a big name coming here. A coach with local ties and success at low D-1 is Mike Lonergan....to me, he fits the description for what MD has to offer.

Coincidence that we lost two coaches under the new regime? Corporations sometimes hire a new CEO whose sole job is to layoff people. Will Anderson be gone in five? Probably. The NCAA has gone pro as in open for money all the time and no probation to show.

My longshot pick: Steve Lavin

It will be hard for Dixon type to leave a successful campaign to come to MD which has been dogging the trail a while. Even when they tied Duke for the regular season tournament the difference in the programs was magnified by the comparisons the following year. I think Sean Miller is possible but not Jay or Jamie. They're both knocking on the door which UConn has had for some time and Duke and NC are not about to roll over. If Coach K left tomorrow Doc Rivers would be their choice. And why avoid Leach and than bring in some other baggage. I'd look for the next Shaka Smart or Brad Evans. But who knows where they are?

I like your thoughts on Hahn and Patsos. They've proven they can win and recruit locally. Without them MD recruiting went south. Of course money talks so let Biscotti step up to the plate and show us what he's holding. But there's no doubt in my mind objectively speaking that coach was let go for one reason: failure to win. Money and money add up to wins.

Rick Barnes!!!!

Does Mike Leach coach hoops?

MD is a big time position. I am sure the student body and alumni want a big time coach. Other AD's know Anderson is soon to call. That is why they will extend contracts. There are diamonds in the rough..... Gary wasn’t big time….the Championship made him big time. I was shocked to see T. Bozeman mentioned in this article. He hasn’t received an interview…or return phone calls since returning to coaching. His body of work…..not bad.. So you want a bid splash…..it will cost you and they will have baggage….some are better at hiding the bones. There have been several job openings this offseason. Many of the big time coaches have stayed at their respective universities. Look for a diamond…..it may be in your back yard…

Gregg Marshall at Wichita State. Great coach on the sidelines, strong recruiter. Has made a winner out of every program he's coached. Has ACC assistant experience.

Md. is not an elite program. We will get the best fit that we can. It's not up to us to worry over it. That's Anderson's job. Between Edsall and this selection will make or break him as an Athletic Directo. I agree, we are not going to get a top 25 coach to transfer into this job

Settle for Bozeman, settle are you nuts. Do you know anything about Basketball. Todd Bozeman recruited Jason Kidd and Shariff Abdul Rahim to Cal, (Cal).

You need a coach who can go in and recruit talented African American kids from the urban centers of America. You would be lucky to get Bozeman.

As for the sloppy reporting on the Towson job, Bozeman was sought after a year before they fired Kennedy and he made it clear that he was not interested in the Towson job, bad reporting. Well know fact in basketball circles.

Don't let racisim allow you to make a poor decision. Bozeman is the best qualified candidate for the job.

His baggage does not weigh half as much as Cailpari's

Settle for Bozeman, settle are you nuts. Do you know anything about Basketball. Todd Bozeman recruited Jason Kidd and Shariff Abdul Rahim to Cal, (Cal).

You need a coach who can go in and recruit talented African American kids from the urban centers of America. You would be lucky to get Bozeman.

As for the sloppy reporting on the Towson job, Bozeman was sought after a year before they fired Kennedy and he made it clear that he was not interested in the Towson job, bad reporting. Well know fact in basketball circles.

Don't let racisim allow you to make a poor decision. Bozeman is the best qualified candidate for the job.

His baggage does not weigh half as much as Cailpari's

I wish people would get off the Brad Steven's bandwagon. He is NOT leaving Butler for a job in a part of the country he has no ties too. He probably is not leaving Butler period... he has been at the top of every schools wish list for the last two years and has turned them all down, that is not going to change now.

Wow...so insightful SR....hope you arent too blown away when either Jay Wright, Mike Brey or Sean Miller accept the job. As for UMD not a top 25 program, I would like to see all the criteria you consider when bestowing your honors.
Perhaps some of the best BB facilities in the nation in the most affluent area of the country with a Top 5 recruiting base ot draw from, playing in the ACC in a 'Basketball-first' school, top 15 every year nationally in attendance and Kevin 'UA' Plank as a main benefactor should be considered when ranking Top NCAA programs.
If you can count that high, please amuse me and list the 25+ schools that are more attractive BB programs than UMD

As for the genius with mentioning Mike Lonergan, he's already been linked to the Geo Washington U. job.
With the suggestions of Jones, Bozeman and Patsos, I'm beginning to think the Sunpaper needs to drug test their writers before publishing. Chris Korman is funnier than Harvey Korman (for those younger than 40, look him up on google or imdb).

Todd Bozeman would be an excellent choice. He has totally turned the Morgan State University program around. In 5 short years, he has taken a program mired in mediocrity and made it a 3 time regular season MEAC champ, 2 time MEAC Tourney champ, took it to 2 NCAA appearances in the last 3 years all with local players that he recruited from MD, DC, PA and DE. Of those players he produced an MEAC Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He's a 3 time MEAC Coach of the Year. He even beat Maryland at the Comcast Center. Before coming to Morgan he coached in the Maryland AAU circuit so he knows the coaches and players well. He can recruit top talent. He did it at Cal (Jason Kidd, Shareef Abdur-Raheem) and he's a coach that these young kids can relate to. Maybe we can keep the future Carmelo Anthony's, Rudy Gay's, and Kevin Durants in Maryland. People will point to his past mistake, but the incident at Cal happened over 15 years ago. He has paid an immense price for that mistake, unlike a Calipari, Calhoun or Jim Tressel who have kept multi-million $ jobs though proven guilty of transgressions. Bozeman was punished and kept out of college coaching for 10 years. Time and money he can't get back. He has matured and run a clean program for the last 5 yrs. Please Maryland alum, boosters and administration don't let petty prejudice and a lack of forgiveness keep us from getting the best man for this particular job!

Maryland is one of the top 5 jobs in the Country when you consider the Comcast Center, the ACC, and the hotbed of recruits within a 200 mile drive from DC North Thru Philly and NYC and south into the Carolinas. We need a big name and proven recuiter in this area. Rick Barnes or Jay Wright fit the bill better than anyone but are already at Nugget jobs. Brad Stevens at Butler is ready for a big move, so is Mark Few who has languished and gone a little stale at Gonzaga lately. Go get the big names AD Anderson....don not settle!

1.gregg marshall(wichita state) 2. oliver purnell(depaul) 3.ed conroy(tulane)

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