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Maryland's new AD Kevin Anderson, a reason for optimism

By Rick Nelligan

Fear not Terps fans, the University of Maryland hired the right man to run the athletic department. For those of you who haven't heard, last week Maryland hired Kevin Anderson to replace Debbie Yow as our new Athletic Director. There has been a lot of uncertainty with the choice of Anderson, but I believe there is reason for optimism.

Anderson was most recently the Athletic Director at Army, running a 25-sport program that saw 20 teams earn a berth in NCAA Championships in 10 different sports -- not too shabby for a military academy. Before Army, he held significant positions at Oregon State, Cal, and Stanford, not exactly low profile programs. The most promising thing about Anderson in my opinion is that he's coming in with ideas and a plan of how to get them done, not like a little fish in a big pond that doesn't know his way around. Maryland is at a pretty big crossroads in its athletic department with the seemingly imminent conference expansions, what to do with our recently-struggling football program, and even recruiting in basketball.

I will focus on the conference expansions in a later post, and basketball recruiting closer to the start of the basketball season, but first and foremost, the biggest question mark we seem to have in our athletic department is what to do with our football program. Granted, a lot will be decided on its own as this season plays out, but even if we have a good season, make a bowl game and do the same next year, at the latest, the 2012 season would be Coach Friedgen's last. To this point, "Head Coach in Waiting" James Franklin has yet to prove he's worthy of being our offensive coordinator, much less the team's next head coach. So as it stands right now, it's looking like we're going to have to find a new head coach in two years, if not sooner. The good news is, at Oregon State, Anderson was a part of the search committee that hired Mike Reilly, who has quickly turned Oregon State into contenders in a tough Pac-10. With college football being the biggest money maker in all collegiate sports, hiring a new head coach is going to be a big time decision, and Anderson is a man who can make that decision.

Anderson also brings cohesiveness to our athletic department. As any Terps fan knows, that hasn't exactly been Maryland's strong point over the past few years, especially with the high profile split between Gary Williams and ex-AD Debbie Yow. But Gary seems completely in favor of Anderson's hiring, telling the Baltimore Sun, "If you're a coach, you get the feeling he is a coaches AD."  Added Anderson during his introductory press conference, "We're going to compete at the highest levels, and we're going to compete to win. The University of Maryland does not finish second. We finish first in everything we do." If that doesn't get you fired up as a Terps fan, I'm not sure what would.

By Box Seats blogger  |  September 14, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Rick Nelligan , Terps  | Tags: Rick Nelligan, Terps  
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Posted by: RollHokies | September 14, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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