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Kevin Willard hired as new Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball head coach

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-TCU vs Seton Hall Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins have officially announced that Kevin Willard will be the new head coach of the men’s basketball program in College Park. Willard has spent the past ten seasons as head coach of the Seton Hall Pirates.

Former head coach Mark Turgeon mutually parted ways with Maryland back in December 2021 and Danny Manning stepped in as the interim head coach for the rest of the season. The Terps finished the 2021-22 season with a 15-17 overall record and a 7-13 conference record. The Terps collected wins in four of the final six regular season games and went on to mount a big comeback against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament, but fell just short in a four-point loss to the Spartans ending the season for Maryland.

Willard, meanwhile, has had an impressive run at Seton Hall since taking over the Pirates program in 2010. He previously served as head coach of Iona from 2007-2010 and as an assistant coach under Rick Pitino with both Louisville from 2001-2007 and the Boston Celtics from 1997-2001. Willard played point guard in college at Western Kentucky from 1992-1993 and at Pittsburgh from 1994-1997.

During his time at Seton Hall, Willard has been one of the winningest coaches in Quad 1 victories over the last four seasons since the NET become a primary measuring tool for team success. He also had the most non-conference wins of any coach in the nation against Big Ten teams since the 2014-2015 season including wins over Maryland in 2018 and 2019 and an 11-5 overall record against Big Ten squads over the past eight seasons. In his overall career as a head coach, his teams have 28 wins over Associated Press Top-25 teams including 18 wins over Top-15 teams, 14 wins over Top-10 teams, and six wins over Top-5 teams.

Willard’s Seton hall squad has posted seven seasons of 20+ wins with five NCAA Tournament appearances and a Big East Tournament title (2016). He also won a Big East regular season title in 2020 and Big East co-Coach of the Year honors in 2016. Willard is 1-5 in the NCAA Tournament, 270-210 in his overall head coach career, and 225-161 at Seton Hall.

“Growing up and coaching in the region, I have always admired Maryland basketball. Being named head coach of one of the nation’s premier basketball programs is a tremendous honor,” said Willard. “Thank you to President Pines and Damon Evans for trusting me to energize this proud program as we look to galvanize our passionate fanbase with a gritty, hard-working style of basketball. Having coached against Maryland several times and at XFINITY Center, I know how Terp fans feel about this team. I embrace the high expectations. Skill development and a dedication to academic success will be cornerstones of our program and I can promise Terp Nation we will work to make them proud of this basketball team as we build winners on the court and in the classroom. Julie and our boys are excited to join the Terrapin family.”

The exact details of Willard’s contract are still being released, but early reports show it is for a seven-year deal that would start at approximately $3.9 million per year and increase annually to average more than $4 million per year over the full seven-year term. That salary would immediately vault Willard to the second-highest paid head coach in the Big Ten behind MSU’s Tom Izzo.