After the program’s worst season since the early 1990s, the Maryland Terrapins believe they have found their new men’s basketball coach.
According to multiple reports, Maryland has landed on Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard. College basketball insider Jon Rothstein reported Sunday morning that Maryland is expected to introduce Willard as the program’s new coach during a press conference early this week.
The deal is not finalized, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, but the two sides are talking, and Willard gave a hint about his future when answering questions following his team’s first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament on Friday. He said he doesn’t know where he will be coaching next season, adding that he hopes current Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway, a former Seton Hall standout, would get the job if Willard does dash for College Park.
“I’ll give you exactly what I can tell you,” Willard said Friday. “I have an agent who I haven’t talked to yet. I don’t know who he’s talking to. I have absolutely no idea. But when I get home I’ll talk to my agent and discuss things with my agent.
“I have no idea [if things will be resolved soon]. I literally have not — I’ve had three different agents in the last month. So my original agent [Jordan Bazant] I’ve had for 12 years went to TV broadcasting. I’ll be honest with you. If I’m not here next year, I’d love, if Shaheen Holloway is here, that would be the happiest thing to happen to me.”
Willard, 46, just wrapped up his 12th season at Seton Hall. He is the son of Ralph Willard, who coached nearly 40 seasons at Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky and Holy Cross. After a slow first five seasons with the New Jersey school, Willard turned the program around, leading the Pirates to 20-plus win seasons in six of the last seven seasons. The Pirates made the NCAA Tournament this season for the fifth time under Willard.
If hired, Willard would replace Danny Manning as the team’s coach. Manning took over as interim coach after Mark Turgeon’s surprising resignation in early December. Under Manning, the Terrapins finished 15-17 — marking the first time since the 1992-93 season the Terrapins ended a campaign below .500.
Willard is one of many coaches the Terrapins have looked at since Turgeon resigned. The school has also reportedly been interested in Alabama’s Nate Oats, USC’s Andy Enfield, Iona’s Rick Pitino and Notre Dame’s Mike Brey.