Maryland has hired Turnkey Search and formed an eight-person internal search committee to help find its next athletic director, the university announced Thursday.
This comes nearly two weeks after the school announced the resignation of Kevin Anderson, who left Maryland after a curious six-month sabbatical that was set to end in April. Among the early candidates for the job are believed to be interim athletic director Damon Evans and Jeff Hathaway, a Maryland graduate who is the outgoing athletic director at Hofstra. Evans is believed to have the support of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh, according to sources with knowledge of their relationship, while others believe some high-level donors are calling for the next hire to have closer ties to the university.
The school’s search committee will be chaired by Darryll Pines, dean of Maryland’s A.J. Clark School of Engineering and a professor of aerospace engineering. The committee will also include Michele Eastman, a university assistant president and chief of staff; Board of Trustees member Mark Butler; Board of Regents member Barry Gossett, who is also one of the school’s top donors; faculty athletic representative Nicholas Hadley; athletics director of development Cheryl Harrison; field hockey Coach Missy Meharg; and track and field Coach Andrew Valmon.
Thursday’s statement said the committee will conduct a private, national search and will only publicize the name of the candidate who is selected as athletic director. The statement did not specify a timetable, though Gossett — who recently donated $21.25 million for new academic programs for athletes — told The Washington Post this month that the search could take four months and include as many as five finalists.
Two Turnkey Search consultants will aid in the search, according to the statement, including Gene DeFilippo, the firm’s managing director who has served as the athletic director at Boston College, Villanova and South Carolina Upstate. The school said Turnkey Search will assist by identifying candidates, scheduling interviews and canvassing university stakeholders to gauge the “desired candidate profile.” In recent years, Turnkey Search has helped Georgetown, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Tennessee and Bowling Green hire athletic directors, Maryland said.