Dalonte Hill met with Mark Turgeon on Saturday morning and could join the Maryland coaching staff early this week, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Adding Hill – who has ties to the Washington area’s top two travel teams and knows the region well – would signify Turgeon’s plan to be aggressive when it comes to recruiting locally. One source said that if Hill goes to Maryland, “There are going to be some mean recruiting wars” between local schools.
As he finishes his first week as the Terrapins’ basketball coach, Turgeon’s staff is starting to come into focus.
Scott Spinelli, his associate head coach at Texas A&M, is expected to join Maryland’s staff this week. Spinelli was in the running to succeed Turgeon in College Station, but reports Saturday said the Aggies will hire Murray State Coach Billy Kennedy on Monday.
There are concerns whether Maryland can afford to pay both Hill and Spinelli, though it is growing more likely that will happen.
At Kansas State, Hill is believed to be the nation’s highest paid assistant coach, with a base salary of $423,750 and bonuses that could total another $80,000 depending on the team’s success. He is under contract for the next four seasons and would have to pay a $50,000 buyout to leave before the contract expires, though the buyout is not expected to be a stumbling block, one source said.
Spinelli was Turgeon’s top assistant at Texas A&M and he figures to fill the same position at Maryland. It is difficult to imagine him making less than Hill if the two are on the same staff.
The sources said Hill has indicated he would be willing to take a pay cut to come to Maryland. He wants to be a head coach and has not been a serious contender to become one despite Kansas State having considerable success recently. By coming to Maryland, he would hope to better position himself for a head coaching job.
However, Hill probably would want a guaranteed, multiyear contract from Maryland. He would not want to leave his contract at Kansas State to come to Maryland and run the risk of things for some reason not working out working for a new boss.
It is expected that Bino Ranson will remain on Maryland’s staff as Turgeon’s other assistant coach.