Deputy Athletic Director Nate Pine is Maryland’s point man in its search for a new baseball coach, and he said the Terrapins are “well positioned” to attract high-caliber candidates, given the school’s ACC affiliation and the program’s recent improvement.
“While we have some challenges with our budget, we certainly have a budget that is attractive to a lot of coaches in a lot of conferences,” Pine said. “While we’re not exactly where we want to be and we’re going to continue to build our operating budget and our fundraising base, we’re in a good position to attract a great coach, and I have no fear about that.”
The last time Maryland was in a similar position, the school elected to promote from within. In January, women’s soccer coach Brian Pensky, the 2010 ACC coach of the year,left to take the same position at Tennessee, where he will earn roughly $50,000 more per year than he would have had he remained in College Park.
Maryland promoted Jonathan Morgan, who’d been an assistant under Pensky for five years, to head coach. Morgan will make $95,000 annually, which is $17,000 less than Pensky made.
Shortly after Maryland announced Bakich’s departure, the school named former major league pitcher Eric Milton as the baseball team’s interim coach. Milton, a 1996 Maryland alum who made one all-star appearance during his 11-year big league career, had been serving as a volunteer assistant at Maryland since September. He had no prior collegiate coaching experience.
Milton’s primary short-term objectives include holding together an incoming recruiting class widely considered to be among the top 25 in the nation and deciding whether he’s interested in the full-time job. According to a school official, Milton was out of town this week and unavailable to comment. Pine said Tuesday he planned to speak with Milton by the end of the week about his coaching desires.
Pine declined to speak about other potential candidates or the profile of candidate Maryland seeks. Rogers, who has covered college baseball for more than 10 years, said it would make sense for Maryland to pursue head coaches of successful smaller programs. He mentioned Army’s Joe Sottolano, Elon’s Mike Kennedy and College of Charleston’s Monte Lee as coaches who fit that bill.
Rogers also sees Frank Anderson — fired in May by Oklahoma State after nine seasons — as a candidate.
“There are some good candidates out there,” Rogers said. “It’s just a matter of whether or not you can convince them that you’re financially stable enough to be able to keep this program on its upward track.”