Maryland's Lacrosse Coach Search Heats Up, Tillman and Van Arsdale Reportedly Emerge as Favorites

via www.gocrimson.com

Maryland hasn't quite had the best of luck in their search for a men's lacrosse coach. Three of their top candidates at the beginning of the search - Gary Gait, Mike Pressler, and Jeff Tambroni, have turned them down. A few others that seemed like strong candidates - Brian Voekler, Kevin Corrigan, and Paul Cantabene - haven't yet been contacted.

But it seems that the search has finally begun to pick up the pace. A few days ago it was revealed that Virginia assistant Marc Van Arsdale has interviewed for the job. Yesterday, Harvard's head coach, John Tillman, interviewed. And now sources from the Washington Post are saying that those are the two main remaining candidates for the position.

Van Arsdale has been Virginia's offensive coordinator for the past four years, an assistant for the past nine, and has been instrumental in their recent run of success. Virginia has been in the top 3 in scoring the past three years (#1 two years ago), which is due in great part to Van Arsdale. He's also been a head coach in the past, coaching at Penn before being an assistant at UVA.

Tillman, though, might be the favorite; two sources from the WaPo article linked above apparently said he has a slight lead, and Van Arsdale said he hasn't had more than "a conversation" about the job. Tillman's been at Harvard since 2007, and got them to their first winning record since 2004 and their best record since 1999. Before coaching at Harvard, he was the offensive coordinator at the Naval Academy for several years. He's been a great recruiter while at Harvard, getting a commitment from the #2 player in the nation this year. His success at Harvard combined with his experience and recruiting success may be what gives him a lead.

It's very possible that these two will be the final candidates simply due to the length of the search, the fact that a few candidates have turned them down, and that Tillman and Van Arsdale have apparently leaped over guys like Corrigan and Cantabene. Both Corrigan and Cantabene were bigger candidates than either Van Arsdale or Tillman earlier in the race and may have more impressive resumes, however, so it stands to reason that its possible for them to get back in the picture, even if its not probable.

Maryland's had a great track record with non-revenue hires recently. Kathy Reese was hired as Maryland's women's lacrosse coach and just took them to a national championship. Kerry McCoy, who was hired two years ago as Maryland's wrestling coach, has helped to transform them into a premier wrestling team. And most recently Erik Bakich has begun to build a basically nonexistant Maryland baseball program with a strong recruiting effort. Hopefully they'll have a similarly successful effort with men's lacrosse.

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