I’ll admit it. When Kevin Anderson seemingly lost out on his first choices to fill the football and basketball head coaching positions in a four month span, I was down on him. I was very down on him.
In late December/early January, Terps fans across the area were sure Mike Leach was going to come to Baltimore. Leach had his question marks, but he was going to bring excitement and most importantly ticket sales to College Park. Even if it took a couple years to get back to consistent Top 25 status, Leach’s brand was immediately going to appeal to those potential season ticket and suite buyers.
When Kevin Anderson ultimately hired the consistently good but not great Randy Edsall, the vast majority of Terrapin nation was disappointed.
Fast-forward to May when Gary Williams surprisingly stepped down from his longtime position as Terps basketball head coach and the face of Maryland athletics.
Anderson, or “KA” as he is referred to on Maryland message boards, was going to act swiftly and bring Sean Miller to College Park. Those surfing the Internet for rumors were positive that Kevin Plank, Kevin Anderson, and Steve Bisciotti were all on a plane to Las Vegas with suitcases and sales pitches in an effort to bring the Arizona head coach back to Maryland.
Sean Miller would consistently have Maryland in the top 10 with his amazing but somewhat sketchy recruiting. Miller would lead the Terrapins to the peak of their potential. Why wouldn’t he? They have a top notch arena, one of the most fertile recruiting bases in the world, and they play in arguably the most storied and historic conference in college basketball.
In short, Maryland needed Sean Miller. Anderson wasn’t going to leave Vegas without him.
But he did. And his next phone call went to Mark Turgeon, the guy who was on a camping trip with his family and almost didn’t get service in time to take Kevin Anderson up on his interview offer.
The rest is history. Mark Turgeon, the widely respected but relatively unknown coach from Texas A&M, was taking over for the legend of Gary Williams.
Two coaching searches in four months, both being the revenue sports of basketball and football, is a dream for any new athletic director. Anderson had a perfect situation. He was the new man in charge at one of the most prominent athletic universities in the world. This was his chance to establish himself as one of the top AD’s in the country.
Personally, I thought he whiffed on both searches. I felt he secured two quality coaches, but not the elite hires that I wanted and that I felt the Terrapins deserved.
Boy was I wrong.
As I’m writing this, we are about eight hours away from the most anticipated Terps football game in a long time.
The hype is unreal. Byrd Stadium is going to be sold-out. The Terps are in prime time on Labor Day on ESPN.
And for a guy in Edsall who wasn’t going to bring excitement or swagger to College Park, that fashion show of a uniform unveiling was pretty sweet…at least in my “young guy’s” opinion.
Mike Leach would have brought a jaw-dropping offense to College Park. He would have been a dream for members of the media around here who live off of interesting/outlandish quotes and press conferences.