Navy interested in Maryland lacrosse coach John Tillman

Midshipmen have indicated interest in former assistant, who just finished first season as Terps coach

June 01, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

Navy has indicated interest in talking to Maryland men's lacrosse coach John Tillman about its coaching vacancy but has not formally sought the school's permission to speak with him, according to sources close to Maryland athletics.

Trying to hire Tillman -- who led Maryland to the NCAA title game -- would be a bold move since he just completed his first season with the Terps and has a large buyout clause in his contract.

Maryland is expected to try to retain the coach, who led the Terps to their first final four since 2006. Maryland lost to Virginia, 9-7, in Monday's NCAA championship game at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I have not been contacted by Navy. No communication," Tillman said in a text message Wednesday night. "I need to focus on my players and a group of disappointed young men who played their hearts out for their state, school, alums and teammates. I can't focus on anything else right now."

Tillman has significant Navy ties. He was a Navy assistant for 12 seasons -- the latter six as head assistant coach. He was then Harvard's coach for three seasons -- he was known as a top recruiter -- before being hired by Maryland a year ago.

Navy is searching for a successor to Richie Meade, who was 142-97 in 17 seasons with the Midshipmen. Navy said May 9 that Meade was resigning as coach but would remain in other capacities.

Asked about Tillman on Wednesday, Navy athletics spokesman Scott Strasemeier said: "We're not commenting on anything until the search is over. It is ongoing."

Maryland said athletic director Kevin Anderson would not comment on Tillman on Wednesday. The athletic department has been pleased with Tillman and with the team's progress.

Tillman, 41, makes about $150,000 a year, and his seven-year contract has a hefty buyout clause -- believed to be about $500,000.

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