Maryland Coaching Options

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Maryland Coaching Options

Mark Turgeon surprisingly stepped down as Maryland head coach in early December. Former Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning then took over as the interim head coach. The Terrapins have been one of the biggest disappointments in the country so far this season. Here I will take a look at potential candidates for Maryland’s head coaching job. Some have confirmed interest from Maryland, and others are just speculation.

Danny Manning – Maryland Interim Head Coach

Let me start this off by saying that I do not really think that there is a good chance that Danny Manning gets the head job. That has a lot to do with the fact that the Terrapins are 6-9 under Manning this season. But he should at least get a look because of his experience both as a coach and a player. He was a great player at Kansas in the 80s and played 15 seasons in the NBA. He has two national championships with Kansas, one as a player and one as an assistant coach. Manning won C-USA coach of the year at Tulsa in 2014 and won the Skip Prosser award while at Wake Forest in 2017. He at least deserves a look.

Kevin Willard – Seton Hall Head Coach

Kevin Willard has become one of the best head coaches in college basketball during his time so far at Seton Hall. He has his Pirates in the national conversation year in and year out and had a serious shot at a national title in 2020 before the NCAA Tournament got canceled. He is an excellent coach and at 46 years old he still has plenty of time left. Willard also brings with him 15 years of head coaching experience – 3 at Iona and 12 at Seton Hall. He knows the northeast too. He is from New York and played at Pitt and then of course has coached in the region for the past 15 seasons. I think this is the best option for Maryland. But I don’t know if he wants to leave Seton Hall. I would imagine he’s pretty comfortable there right now.

Andy Enfield – USC Head Coach

College basketball fans in the DMV will remember Andy Enfield from his time at Florida Gulf Coast when he took them to not only their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, but coached the 15-seed Eagles to the Sweet Sixteen. That run for the team that came to be known as “Dunk City” included upsetting 2-seed Georgetown. He has spent the nine years since then coaching at USC. His tenure in SoCal has been up-and-down. He’s led the Trojans to three NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT appearance in his first eight full seasons there. He has also done a solid job recruiting.

Chris Mack – Former Xavier & Louisville Head Coach

Chris Mack and Louisville recently decided to separate in just his fourth season there. It comes during what has so far been the worst season in his thirteen years as a head coach. Mack’s tenure at Louisville became mired with a notice of allegations from the NCAA that in part stated that “Mack did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance.” It is alleged that he “either participated in, condoned, or negligently disregarded violations involving graduate assistants and others participation in practice as well as the creation and use of personalized recruiting videos and aids.” Former assistant Dino Gaudio tried to extort him after being fired. He was suspended for the first six games of this season as a part of all of that. He also seems to have maybe lost the Cardinals’ locker room this season too. All of that could scare away the administration at Maryland, especially if those allegations are true. But there is no doubt that he is a very good head coach. And for what it’s worth, there is a small group of former Maryland players that have made a solid argument and have made it known that they think Mack should be the next head coach.

Juan Dixon – Coppin State Head Coach

Juan Dixon is an interesting one. Maryland fans will know him well. He led the Terps to their first National Championship in 2002 and won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award in the process. The first-round draft pick had a short-lived NBA career. Dixon was a special assistant under Mark Turgeon from 2013 to 2016. Since 2017 he has been the head coach at Coppin State. That tenure with the Eagles has not gone well so far. To date, he has an overall record of 38-102 to this point in his fifth season. He only has one double-digit win season so far. But Dixon did coach them to the MEAC regular season conference championship last season despite going only 9-13. Dixon is getting better and has obvious history with Maryland, but it just might not be his time yet.

Kim English – George Mason Head Coach

It might be a bit too soon for Kim English to be a power six head coach. His potential hiring at Maryland also seems to be more of a fanbase want than a school want. But since being hired at George Mason 10 months ago he has already made some big moves. He has quickly won over the fans and students and made connections with them and has been doing a very good job on the recruiting trail so far. He even secured a commitment from 4-star SF Justyn Fernandez, a top 100 recruit who is the second-highest rated recruit to ever commit to George Mason. Before becoming the head coach of the Patriots, English spent two years each as an assistant at Tulsa, Colorado, and Tennessee. Things are looking up for both him and the Patriots. But Maryland might want to go with a more experienced coach right now.

 

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