Hoping to resuscitate a struggling volleyball program heading into the nation’s toughest conference, the University of Maryland turned to a future rival to find its new head coach. On Wednesday afternoon, the Terrapins announced the hiring of Steve Aird, a current assistant coach at top-ranked Penn State and a Nittany Lions alumnus.

A 2001 graduate of Penn State and a two-time captain on the men’s volleyball team, Aird has never steered a college program before, but spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Cincinnati, handling recruiting, scouting and player development. Prior to that, he worked for three seasons at Auburn. Before becoming an assistant at Penn State, he also worked as the director of volleyball operations.

Aird replaces Tim Horsmon, who labored to a sub-.500 record through six seasons in College Park and separated from the program this December, returning to his former school at Dayton.

The Terps finished the 2013 season with a 13-19 overall record and 5-15 in the ACC, including a miserable 1-11 record in road games. They were ranked 134th nationally, according to NCAA.com.