Kevin Willard (Maryland)
The Maryland Terrapins finished the 2021-2022 men’s basketball season in a very similar situation to that of the Louisville Cardinals. Maryland and Head Coach Mark Turgeon parted ways in December 2021, following a poor start to the season, and the Terrapins went on to finish the season with a losing record for the first time since the 1992-1993 season.
Unlike the University of Louisville, Maryland chose to hire a more proven and experienced head coach to take over for the 2022-2023 season. Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard accepted the job with the Terrapins in March 2022 and landed a few key transfers over the summer, including talented scorer and point guard Jahmir Young from Charlotte.
With just a few games left in the regular season, Maryland is 20-9 overall and appears to be comfortably in the 2023 NCAA Tournament field, having already earned impressive wins against teams like Purdue, Miami, and Indiana.
Furthermore, just 367 days after losing to Louisville 63-55 in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship, Kevin Willard and the Terrapins came into the KFC Yum! Center on November 29 and beat the Cards by 25 points.
Considering Kevin Willard served as an assistant coach for the University of Louisville from 2001-2007 under Rick Pitino and was considered a legitimate candidate for the recent Louisville head-coaching position, Willard’s rapid transformation of the Maryland men’s basketball program may leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cards fans.