The University of Maryland is close to filling its Athletic Director void.
According to The Baltimore Sun’s Don Markus, Temple AD Patrick Kraft, former Tennessee AD John Currie and acting AD Damon Evans are the three finalists to replace Kevin Anderson, who resigned in April.
Here is a rundown of all three candidates.
Executive Athletic Director Damon Evans assumed Anderson’s role in October 2017, when it was announced that Anderson would take a six-month sabbatical. He was hired by the university in November 2014, overseeing day-to-day operations of the athletics department. Following the tragic death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, the university held a press conference on June 14, with Evans speaking on behalf of the program. From a continuity standpoint, Evans would be the best candidate to move forward.
Kraft was named Temple AD in May 2015. Earlier this year, he was appointed to a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee. Under his watch, Temple’s football team won the 2016 American Athletic Conference Championship, its first conference championship since 1967. In that same year, men’s basketball won its first conference regular season title since 2012 and earned a berth to the NCAA tournament.
On the women’s side, the basketball program made its first appearance in the 2017 NCAA tournament since 2011.
Off the court, Kraft advocated for multiple mental health initiatives for student-athletes. This led to a partnership with Temple’s Department of Clinical Psychology to deliver onsite behavioral health coaching for student-athletes. The university also hired its first full-time mental health professional dedicated solely to handling student-athlete needs.
Currie was hired as Tennessee AD in February 2017. However, the university placed him on paid suspension in December 2017 after his controversial hire of former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as head football coach became public and scrutinized by the Tennessee community. While Currie backed out of the deal, following a botched head coaching search that was mocked nationwide, the university suspended Currie; Tennessee and Currie reportedly reached a settlement in 2018 for $2.5 million, according to The Commercial Appeal of Memphis.
Prior to Tennessee, Currie served as AD at Kansas State from 2009-2017. During that time, the football team appeared in seven straight bowl games and captured a Big 12 championship in 2012.
Maryland releases statement on external review
On June 19, the University of Maryland released a statement on the status of an external review into the death of Jordan McNair. According to the statement, the university has hired Walters Inc., a sports medicine consulting group, to conduct the investigation. The review will begin by the end of the week. Football players have been notified that regularly scheduled practices are voluntary until further notice.