The Maryland assistant hadn’t thought much about it until Saturday, when he received a call gauging his interest while giving recruiting tours in College Park.
“I think you always wonder as an assistant coach,” Warne said. “You always go, ‘How would I do running my own program and taking what you learn from everybody else.’ It’s funny. You usually get the job you don’t think about. The opportunity, it popped up and I said, ‘Hey, why not?’”
Indeed, it could prove a win-win for Warne and the Hoyas.
Warne spent the past two years as the defensive coordinator at Maryland, helping the Terrapins reach the national title game in both seasons. He inherited a unit with three seniors on close defense and another at pole, and it finished the year ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense (7.0 goals per game).
With Maryland taking a graduation hit, the defense was initially a concern. But Warne crafted the country’s No. 9 scoring defense (7.94) around junior long pole Jesse Bernhardt and a close defense of sophomores Brian Cooper and Michael Ehrhardt and freshman Goran Murray.
In eight NCAA tournament games under Warne, the Terps yielded just 57 goals and surrendered double-digit goals only once — a 16-10 semifinal rout of Duke in May.
Previously, Warne served as an assistant at Delaware (2001-04), UMBC (2005-07) and Harvard (2008-10).
He inherits a program that rose from irrelevance under Urick to reach 11 straight NCAA tournaments between 1997 and 2007, only to fade considerably in recent years. The Hoyas missed the postseason the past five years.
More recently, Georgetown did not earn a spot in the initial Big East tournament last season and finished 7-6 only after winning its final two games.
It’s little surprise Warne, known to casual fans as much for his unbridled sideline celebrations as his well-crafted defense, expects his teams to be known for rugged, emotional play. That’s not too far from the physical reputation the Hoyas earned for much of Urick’s tenure.
“When people watch us, they’re going to make sure they see toughness, they’re going to see passion, they’re going to see guys play for 60 minutes and guys that never give up,” Warne said.
Warne said he would go through a typical process in selecting a staff. Warne said Scott Urick, an assistant under his father, was “a guy who’s on the radar” but he did not delve into specifics about his possibilities for staff.
Whoever joins Warne will land at a place with one final four appearance (1999) and a history until recently as a steady top-10 team.