When John Tillman was hired as Maryland’s head coach in June, Navy coach Richie Meade had a pretty good idea who might be among the big winners of the transaction.
His daughters —- at least when Halloween arrived each year.
Tillman was Meade’s assistant for a dozen years before moving on to Harvard and then Maryland. Tonight marks the first time the two will coach against each other in a regular season game.
Nearly 10 months ago, Meade mentioned that his daughters would get large Kit Kat bars —- “Nimitz-class,” he noted with pride —- from Tillman whenever they went trick-or-treating.
“We used to live down the street, and you’d get your little kid-sized, small-sized candy bars,” Tillman said. “I’d always get king-sized Kit Kats for his daughters. They’d show up on Halloween and I’d save the big ones for them. I did the same thing for [Loyola coach and former Navy assistant] Charley Toomey‘s kids. To this day, I always send the big Kit Kats to them on Halloween. Pretty soon they won’t care about that. But back in the day, if you could get the king-sized candy bar, it seemed like a pretty good deal.”
Meade, who was asked quite a bit about his time working with Tillman this week, chuckled when the Kit Kat bars were referenced in an interview. And it turns out Tillman continued sending them while at Harvard and now at Maryland each Halloween.
“John’s a very thoughtful guy,” Meade said. “I’ve always appreciated that. When my kids were growing up, when they were Snow White and the good witch at Halloween, I remember walking up those stairs and he was giving out little Kit Kats and he’d say ‘Hey, wait a minute.’”
—- Patrick Stevens