With the college basketball regular season soon coming to an end, the search for a new Maryland basketball coach will certainly begin to ramp up. Since the university and Mark Turgeon parted ways in early December, interim coach Danny Manning has led the Terps to a 9-12 record.

Maryland sits at 14-15 overall and will likely miss the NCAA Tournament. Now the focus will begin to shift as the school tries to find a new coach. There have been plenty of names and rumors surrounding the head coaching job. Former Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Cremins joined Glenn Clark Radio Feb. 21 to talk about the job and potential candidates.

Cremins has more than 30 years of coaching experience at the Division I level, including 19 seasons at Georgia Tech, where he finished with the most wins in program history (354-237) and had plenty of bouts against Maryland. In fact, Cremins remembers his frustration when the Terrapins decided to join the Big Ten.

“I got really mad at Maryland when they left the ACC,” said Cremins, now a SiriusXM ESPNU Radio host. “I called Gary [Williams] and I said, ‘What the hell is going on? How did you let that happen?’ Because Maryland was a founding member of the ACC. I loved competing against Maryland as a player, as a coach.”

Despite being angry at the decision then, Cremins understands the move now and believes that Maryland is an enticing job. With all the different names that have been involved in rumors, Cremins believes that it is important for Maryland to receive input from Williams, the Terps’ coach from 1989-2011.

“Maryland is a great job,” Cremins said. “It’s a great area for basketball players. I would have Gary Williams involved. I would definitely have Gary Williams’ input.”

One of the coaches mentioned in connection with the job is Providence’s Ed Cooley, who has been coaching the Friars since 2011 and has a record of 218-139. Cooley was born and raised in Providence, R.I., so it would take a great opportunity for him to leave his home.

Cremins was asked if the Maryland coaching job is good enough for a coach to leave his current program if he’s happy with his situation. Cremins answered concretely, saying, “No, they should not.”

This is something that Cremins can relate to. Cremins was hired by Georgia Tech in 1981, but in 1993, he agreed to become the head coach at his alma mater of South Carolina. However, after just a few days, he decided this was the wrong decision and went back to Georgia Tech.

“I had been at Georgia Tech for a while and it was my alma mater, and I thought maybe a change would be good,” Cremins said. “But I made a big, big mistake. And it almost cost me my life, my career.”

If Cooley is happy at Providence and doesn’t want a new challenge, he most likely won’t leave for the Maryland job, according to Cremins.

Another name that has been tossed around is Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, who was born in Bethesda, Md., and went to DeMatha Catholic High School. Brey makes a lot of sense because of his local connections, but he has been coaching at Notre Dame since 2000, posting a 469-256 record.

“Now, Mike’s not going to come in for an interview. Mike’s got to be offered the job,” Cremins said. “He’s not messing around because he could stay at Notre Dame for another five or 10 years, who knows. But if somebody just flat-out offered him the job, I would think Mike Brey would have to think about that.”

A long-shot name to add to the list is Rick Pitino, a basketball coaching legend with plenty of accolades and controversies. After being fired by Louisville in 2017, Pitino became the coach at Iona in 2020. Cremins believes Iona is the perfect spot for Pitino and doesn’t see him leaving anytime soon.

“I think he’s found happiness,” Cremins said. “He’s got a great situation up there. He lives up by the golf course up there, Winged Foot. … Iona is a great fit for him. He has said publicly that that’s where he wants to end his career, he’d like to coach there for maybe 10 years, get 1,000 wins. No, leave Rick Pitino alone.”

Cremins also touched on USC’s Andy Enfield and Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard. Both of these coaches have done very impressive jobs at their respective schools. Enfield became the coach at USC in 2013 and has led the Trojans to three NCAA Tournaments with an overall record of 182-115. Willard has been coaching at Seton Hall since 2010, appearing in four NCAA Tournaments and posting a 222-159 record.

With both of these coaches potentially in search of a better coaching job, Maryland could certainly be an option. However, Cremins was sure to note that the school would have to step up financially to secure them.

“You’ve got to visit with them. You don’t want them to rob the bank on you,” Cremins said. “Most likely, their agents are the ones that are going to be talking, not them. For them to leave a good situation, Maryland is going to have to really step up, but you don’t want to break the bank.”

All records are entering play March 2.

For more from Cremins, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox