Maryland AD Candidate Rob Mullens Hired By Oregon

Toby Flenderson? via www.uky.edu

If Maryland's not looking to go the "superstar" route with their new AD, they just lost a potential frontrunner for the job. Rob Mullens, Kentucky's deputy AD, has been mentioned multiple times as a possibility for Maryland's job, but was hired today by Oregon for their open AD position.

Mullens, actually, was the subject of my next potential AD profile. He used to work for Maryland under Debbie Yow and ended up at Kentucky, eventually as a liaison between John Calipari and the athletic department itself. He also ran the financial side of the program, which is no small feat considering the size ($79mil).

But Mullens is now off the board for Maryland. This is news for two reasons: one, because he was rumored to be a "leading contender" for the position, probably because the pricetags on Castiglione and Hathaway are so sizable (though he is a good candidate), and two, because he might provide a barometer. Oregon's athletic department is of a similar stature to Maryland; if anything, they're richer and potentially more prestigious. It's probably a more desirable gig.

With that in mind, you have to consider something like Castiglione or Hathaway coming home a major, major coup. Oregon just pulled in a young, inexperienced up-and-comer; I wouldn't be surprised if that's what Maryland ultimately ends up with, but the potential of something "better" is encouraging.

With Mullens now off the board, we return to the other known potential candidates: Castiglione, Hathaway, Neal Eskin (UConn's #2), and Dan Gavitt (head of basketball ops in the Big East). There are some other potential candidates - Jamie Pollard, for example, is currently Iowa State's AD, but worked at Maryland for four years under Yow and could potentially consider UMD a step-up - and I'm sure their names will begin to leak out before long, but those are the ones we know now.

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