Maryland’s head volleyball coach, Steve Aird, has resigned and accepted the same position at Indiana, the school announced Wednesday afternoon.
Maryland interim athletic director Damon Evans said in a statement the school will commence a national search to replace Aird, who had steered Maryland into the tradition-rich Big Ten when it joined the conference in 2014 and re-energized the program with recruiting and improved attendance numbers significantly during his four seasons in College Park.
“We sincerely thank Steve for leading our program the past four seasons,” Evans said. “Steve has helped elevate our program, has created a winning culture and we are confident that we have the foundation to sustain long-term success for Maryland volleyball.”
Aird finished 55-74 at Maryland, including a 18-14 mark in 2017 that brought the Terrapins to the cusp of their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005. Although Maryland did not receive an at-large bid into the field, Aird was still viewed as a rising-star coach in College Park and a symbol of stability for an athletic department that is in flux after Evans took over for Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, who is on a six-month sabbatical from the school, on an interim basis in October.
In 2017, Aird signed Maryland’s first top-ten recruiting class in program history, which included four Under Armour all-Americans and three players ranked in PrepVolleyball’s top 100. As the product on the court improved, so did attendance. Maryland averaged 1,325 fans per home match during Aird’s four seasons in College Park, including 1,364 per match in 2017. During its final 10 seasons in the ACC, Maryland had averaged just 385 fans.
“I’m very encouraged about the strides we’ve made and the future of Maryland volleyball. I’m very proud of our student-athletes, who represented this program with great class and dignity both in the classroom, on the court and in the community,” Aird said in a statement Wednesday.
This marks the second time in the past seven months that a Maryland coach has left for another job; John Szefc stepped down as Maryland baseball head coach to accept the same position at Virginia Tech in June.
Aird will replace former Indiana coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan, whose contract was not renewed this month after 11 seasons in Bloomington. Indiana finished 11-19 in 2017, including a 1-19 mark in Big Ten play.
“I’ll be forever grateful to Damon Evans, my coaching staff, our administration and our great fans for their continued support and encouragement,” Aird said. “This was a gut-wrenching decision, but I feel like this was in the best interest for me and my family.”
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