Let’s Speculate! Potential Maryland head basketball coach candidates

Welcome to Let’s Speculate! on Coaches Database, where we go through programs that are or may soon be looking for a new head coach and speculate who they may hire next. UPDATED 1/25

Today’s program is Maryland, coached by Mark Turgeon for the last 10+ seasons (parted ways December 3).

  • Bruce Pearl – Auburn head coach
    • Pearl is unlikely to finish his career at Auburn, a program he has taken to new heights (Final Four in 2019, #1 ranking in 2022). He’s had plenty of run-ins with the NCAA but nothing that is going to stop any number of major programs from pursuing him this spring. Will he actually leave a great situation in Auburn for a job like Louisville or Maryland? At the very least he would entertain the idea and then sign a lucrative extension (UPDATE 1/28: Pearl signed an 8-year extension), as others have done in the past.
  • Nate Oats – Alabama head coach
    • A rising star in college basketball, Oats made his mark immediately at both Alabama and Buffalo and is someone who could lead the Louisville for years to come. Things have cooled a bit this season but the fact remains that he has been to four NCAA Tournaments in six years as a head coach and last year reached the Sweet Sixteen after leading Alabama to its first SEC title in ten years, so there is still a lot to like about Oats as a long-term solution for any big job. The Wisconsin-native has plenty of experience coaching and recruiting in Big Ten country and has demonstrated an ability to win right away.
  • Andy Enfield – USC head coach
    • Enfield’s tenure at USC has proven that the Dunk City Era at FGCU was no fluke. He has taken the Trojans to three NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen last year. A Pennsylvania-native who played at Johns Hopkins, Enfield is in a nice situation in Los Angeles but may be ready for a new challenge and a marquee job.
  • Ed Cooley – Providence head coach
    • Well-respected in the basketball world and a great coach at that, Cooley is now in his eleventh year of a successful run at Providence. It’s his hometown and he’s taken the Friars to five NCAA Tournaments, but that might be the ceiling at Providence. Might he do more with the resources that a program like Maryland has at its disposal?
  • Kim English – George Mason head coach
    • Though he is only in his first year as a head coach, English is widely-regarded as a future star in college basketball coaching. The other names are more traditionally qualified, but if Maryland wants to make a splashy young hire then the Baltimore-native is a great option. Plus, he took his George Mason squad to College Park last month and beat the Terps, likely impressing some fans and boosters in the process.
  • Kevin Baggett – Rider head coach
    • Probably not the most likely candidate, but Baggett has something that no one else on this list has: a direct link to famed Maryland head coach Lefty Driesell. Baggett worked as one of Lefty’s assistants at James Madison (and never actually worked with the Terps) and has made a name for himself in MAAC leading Rider to three postseason berths and winning the league back in 2018.
  • David Cox – Rhode Island head coach
    • Another long shot, sure, but a coach on the rise nonetheless. Cox likely would have had URI in the NIT in 2020 and has been pretty impressive there in his first head coaching opportunity. A DC-native who played at William & Mary, Cox has been coaching and recruiting in the Northeast his entire career.
  • Juan Dixon – Coppin State head coach
    • Look, Dixon is probably not ready for this type of gig just yet. He has been decent at Coppin State, improving their conference record over his four years there to earn a share of the MEAC North title last year. He’s a fan favorite and a Maryland legend, having been named NCAA Tournament MOP in 2002 when the Terps won it all. There’s a resurgent trend of low- to mid-major head coaches leaving for high-major assistant gigs and we think that could be very much in play for Dixon.
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