University of Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger has stressed to newly appointed football coach Mark Duffner the importance of hiring black assistants.
Geiger says he emphasized the message to all of the candidates for the job, which was given to Duffner on Tuesday after a three-week search.
The lack of blacks on the staff of former coach Joe Krivak was a key issue at the end of the season when Geiger evaluated Krivak and the program. Krivak had one black on his staff during each of his five years as coach.
"There was not a number specified or mandated for him to hire," said Geiger. "I told Coach Duffner, as well as all the candidates, that this was a diverse university and we should have a diverse coaching staff. It's something I have felt strongly about and will continue to feel strongly about."
Duffner, 38, had one black on his staff at Holy Cross, Peter McCarty, who coached defensive ends and served as academic coordinator and professional scout liaison. He is expected to join Duffner on Maryland's staff.
Duffner also will be interviewing Rod Sharpless, a black, this weekend. Sharpless, a 1975 graduate and former player at Maryland, has been the Terps' wide receiver coach the past two years. He worked with defensive linemen and linebackers at Richmond and Kentucky before coming to Maryland.
Also yesterday, Geiger said the previous role of academic assistant and recruiting coordinator will be handled by two people on the football staff instead of one. Maryland also will have a strength coach just for the football team.
Duffner met with his Holy Cross assistants yesterday, and has said he probably will bring several with him to Maryland.
Duffner would not be specific, but said he could have his staff formed within a week, which could help the Terps in their last recruiting efforts.