Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger has contacted Holy Cross athletic director Ronald Perry about Crusaders football coach Mark Duffner, a candidate for the recently vacated Maryland job, according to officials in the Holy Cross and Maryland athletic departments.
The officials said Perry was contacted Tuesday afternoon. Geiger and Perry declined to comment last night, and Duffner was unavailable.
Other candidates -- East Carolina's Bill Lewis, William & Mary's Jimmye Laycock, Villanova's Andy Talley, Stanford's Dennis Green and Bowling Green's Gary Blackney -- did not return phone calls yesterday. Talley and Laycock have expressed interest in the job.
The Maryland position became open Friday, when coach Joe Krivak resigned after a 2-9 season and a two-week evaluation by Geiger.
Duffner, 38, is considered one of the hottest major-college coaching prospects after compiling a 60-5-1 record in six seasons at Holy Cross. He has the highest winning percentage (.916) of any active coach and Saturday was named the Chevrolet Division I-AA Coach of the Year. The Crusaders finished the 1991 season 11-0.
Duffner, a 1975 graduate of William & Mary, was a graduate assistant under Woody Hayes at Ohio State, later served as defensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati from 1977 through 1980 and served in the same capacity at Holy Cross from 1981 through 1985. Duffner became the head coach at Holy Cross on Feb. 8, 1986, after Rick Carter committed suicide.
Geiger has expressed interest in hiring a coach who has worked within similar academic standards as those at Maryland.
Duffner, considered a defensive specialist, recently turned down the head coaching job at Tulane. Next season will be the first that the Crusaders, who compete in the Patriot League, will be without scholarship players. Holy Cross returns only two starters on offense and four on defense.