Kevin Willard, former Seton Hall basketball coach and current Maryland assistant, has been hired as the new head men’s basketball coach at his alma mater. The school announced Wednesday that it had finalized a contract with Willard to remain in College Park for six years beginning this coming season.
Kevin Willard has been hired by Maryland as the new men’s basketball coach. The former Seton Hall coach will make $1.2 million per year and is expected to have a contract that lasts six years.
Kevin Willard of Seton Hall has been appointed as Maryland’s next head coach, the school announced Monday morning.
Willard joins the University of Maryland after 12 years at Seton Hall. According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, it’s a seven-year agreement for more than $4 million per year, putting Willard towards the top of Big Ten basketball coach earnings.
In a statement, athletic director Damon Evans stated, “We are happy to welcome Kevin to the Terrapin family.” “We’re optimistic about Maryland basketball’s future, especially with Kevin at the helm. Kevin has had a lot of success with his tough, hard-working teams, winning conference titles and taking his teams to NCAA Tournaments. As seen by his recent record versus Big Ten teams, he has developed a practice of scheduling difficult opponents and winning those games. As a native New Yorker who has spent most of his life in the Northeast corridor, he is acquainted with the area. We warmly welcome Kevin, Julie, and their boys Colin and Chase to the Maryland family, and we eagerly anticipate the next exciting chapter in Terrapin basketball history.”
Since the role opened in early December with Mark Turgeon’s departure, Willard had been regarded a frontrunner in the Maryland search.
“I’ve always liked Maryland basketball as a kid and as a coach in the area. It’s a huge pleasure to be selected head coach of one of the best basketball teams in the country “In a statement, Willard added. “Thank you to President Pines and Damon Evans for entrusting me with re-energizing this storied program as we strive to enthrall our devoted supporters with a gritty, hard-working brand of basketball. I know how Terp supporters feel about this team since I’ve coached against them multiple times, including at Xfinity Center. The great expectations excite me. Our program will be built on skill development and a commitment to academic achievement, and I can assure Terp Nation that we will work hard to make them proud of this basketball team as we create winners on the court and in the classroom. Julie and our two sons are thrilled to be a part of the Terrapin family.”
Willard, a Long Island native, played collegiate basketball at Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh before joining the Boston Celtics’ coaching staff as an assistant coach under Rick Pitino. He followed Pitino to Louisville, where he worked as an assistant coach for six years until becoming the head coach at Iona. Willard has gone to five NCAA tournaments in his 15 years as a head coach, including a share of the Big East regular-season championship in 2020.
Seton Hall has only missed the NCAA tournament once since 2015, when it stumbled down the line last season and was knocked out. The Pirates resurrected themselves this season, opening 9-1 with victories over Michigan and Texas before winning eight of their next ten regular-season games. Their season came to an end in the first round of the NCAA tournament as they were blown away by TCU, 69-42.
In each of the last seven seasons, Seton Hall has finished in the top half of the Big East. Willard had a 225-161 overall record in 12 seasons with the Pirates.
Ralph Willard, his father, coached for over 40 years, including spells as head coach at Western Kentucky, Pittsburgh, and Holy Cross.
Willard succeeds Turgeon, who led Maryland to five NCAA tournament appearances in ten seasons before stepping down abruptly in early December. Under Turgeon, the Terrapins never made it through the first weekend of the tournament once, although they did share the Big Ten regular-season championship in 2020.
Danny Manning was designated temporary head coach after Turgeon resigned. Maryland finished 15-17 overall and 7-13 in the Big Ten after being ranked in the top 25 before into the season.
Kevin Willard is the former coach of Seton Hall and was recently hired by Maryland. He has been a head coach for over ten years, but this will be his first time as a college basketball coach. Reference: kevin willard wiki.
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