Maryland has narrowed down the Athletic Director (AD) search to 3 finalists according to a report early this morning from Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.
Hearing that Maryland will be interviewing three finalists – Temple AD Patrick Kraft, former Tennessee AD John Currie and acting Terp AD Damon Evans – to replace Kevin Anderson.
— Don Markus (@sportsprof56) June 20, 2018
The finalists are Temple AD Patrick Kraft, former Tennessee AD John Currie, and current Maryland acting Athletic Director Damon Evans.
Patrick Kraft: Patrick Kraft has been an up and comer in the athletic directing world seemingly since graduating from Indiana in 2008 with a doctorate in Sports Management. His resume serves as a tribute to his meteoric rise
• Senior Assistant Director of sports at Indiana (2009-11)
• Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director at Loyola University Chicago (2011-13)
• Deputy Director of Athletics at Temple (2013-15)
• Athletic Director at Temple (2015-present)
Kraft has been recognized by the Sports Business Journal and the Philadelphia Business Journal for his work at Temple. He also has the disgusted honor of being appointed to the NCAA Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee. During his tenure the athletics department as a whole flourished on the field, specifically football who went to back to back AAC title games, winning in 2016. Many other sports found major success, including women’s basketball, men’s soccer, and gymnastics. Off the field 16 of 19 teams have achieved record breaking GPA’s in the last six semesters, as well as record GSR at the university.
John Currie: John Currie is certainly the highest profile name on this list. His resume is quite impressive, but the story behind is perhaps even more fascinating.
• Tennessee Assistant AD (1997-2008)
• Kansas State AD (2009-2017)
• Tennessee AD (2017-2018)
Under Currie Kansas State had much success. They won nine NCAA titles and fifty Big 12 titles, basketball and football also had greatly increased success and both had strong hires. After making just one NCAA tournament berth in the last 14 years, K-State made six tournaments in nine years under Currie who also has the strong hire of Bruce Webber in 2012. On the football side Currie managed to bring back living Legend Bill Snyder who has led the team to eight consecutive bowls. Perhaps most impressive is the financial work that Currie managed in Manhattan. The department was under budget in seven of his nine seasons and had quadruple the yearly funding by the end of his tenure in Kansas.
Then the issues started out at his alma mater Tennessee. Currie was hired on 2/28/2017 after former AD Dave Hart retired, he didn’t get a chance to make much of an impact in his 10 month tenure, save for one notable incident. Head football coach Butch Jones was fired after a 50-17 loss to unranked Missouri, this was seen as the right call by fans, the subsequent attempted hire of Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was absolutely seen as the wrong call. Schiano was accused by former Penn State running backs coach Mike McQueary of knowledge of the sex abuse scandal at Penn State, although these accusations were defined by both Penn State and Ohio State, the immense fan backlash to the hire (which was later cancelled) among other things, the hire was enough to turn Tennessee’s coach search into a national embarrassment. Currie was dismissed on December 1st, 2017.
Damon Evans: Like John Currie, Evans was in charge of one of the largest athletic departments in the SEC:
• Director of Compliance and Operations at Missouri (1994-95)
• Assistant Commissioner of the SEC (1995-98)
• Georgia Senior Associate AD (1998-2004)
• Georgia AD (2004-10)
• Senior Associate AD of Maryland (2014-present)
• Interim AD Maryland (2017-present)
Evans has huge shoes to fill at Georgia as he succeed 25 year athletic director and former UGA national championship winning football coach Vince Dooley. Despite this Evans led the department to be the most profitable one in the country, with gross profit of 23.9 million dollars in 2005, UGA also had the second highest grossing football program in the country in 2007 (only behind Texas). The success came to a grinding halt in 2010 after Evans tried to bribe his way out of the arrest a DUI arrest. Evans was arrested for disorderly conduct following the incident. He resigned later that week.
In 2014 Evans was brought in by former Maryland AD Kevin Anderson to help run the department, after Anderson went on sabbatical last year Evans was promoted to Interim AD. Many, including us at Terptalk believe that he is the front runner for the position.
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