Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
College Park, MD–
Today Maryland Basketball just got arguably better with the hiring of former Seton Hall Head Coach Kevin Willard, who has over the past 12 years made a huge difference in the program and put them back on the map as a contender in the Big East.
“This is a top-10 job in college basketball, hands down,” he said. “I would not have moved my family and left a place that I loved very dearly if I did not think this is a place that we should be winning national championships.”
The Terps haven’t come very close to doing that recently, but if anyone needed a reminder of what is possible, Gary Williams was in attendance when Willard spoke. It was Williams who led Maryland to a national championship 20 years ago, back when Willard was still early in his coaching career.
“They had such swagger. They had such confidence,” Willard said. “We are going to bring back that passion, that energy that Coach Williams coached with, that his players played with.”
Willard built Seton Hall into an NCAA tournament regular, although he never took the Pirates on a long run. So Maryland will hope that Willard is right — that this is one of the top jobs in the country, and that the coach who took Seton Hall from mediocrity to respectability can now take the Terrapins from respectability to greatness.
“We intend to position our men’s basketball program, year in and year out, to win conference titles and national championships,” athletic director Damon Evans said. “Because simply put, that is what Maryland basketball is all about.”
As if to underscore the school’s hopes for the future, Evans also announced Tuesday that $40 million has been raised for a new basketball performance center.