Former Jacksonville coach Cliff Warren will be promoted to assistant coach of the Terrapins basketball program, Alex Prewitt is reporting. Warren, who was hired on April 23 as the Director of Basketball Operations, received the promotion to fill the needs of coaching departures from Scott Spinelli and Dalonte Hill, who were both replaced by former DBOs (Dustin Clark is now also an assistant on the staff). An announcement is expected later this week.
Maryland fans, meet Cliff Warren
Warren was the head coach of Jacksonville from 2005-2014, amassing a program-record 126 wins. After a 1-26 record in his inaugural season for the Dolphins, he bounced back for five consecutive seasons above .500, including two Atlantic Sun Conference championships. In his last three years in Jacksonville, the Dolphins struggled to a 34-58 record and Warren’s contract wasn’t picked up by the university.
Prior to Jacksonville, he served as an assistant coach and head recruiter for Sienna (1997-2000) and Georgia Tech (2000-2005) under head coach Paul Hewitt. Reigning from Silver Spring, MD, Warren was the key recruiter in landing Maryland native Jarrett Jack while with the Yellow Jackets. He was a part of the staff when Georgia Tech were NCAA runner-ups to the Emeka Okafor-led UCONN Huskies. During his tenure at the school, the Yellow Jackets recruited future NBA players Jack, Chris Bosh, Will Bynum and Anthony Morrow.
Spinelli and Hill leave the program
The promotion comes after Spinelli left Maryland to assume the same position as assistant coach at Boston College. Spinelli worked alongside head coach Mark Turgeon for eight years, following him from Wichita State to Texas A&M to Maryland. He created a recruiting pipeline in New England that attracted Massachusetts’s natives Evan Smotrycz and Jake Layman to the program
Warren is expected to fulfill the main recruiting responsibilities after Spinelli’s departure and Hill’s resignation from the university. Turgeon hired Hill to keep local talent in the state of Maryland. His strong ties with AAU powerhouse D.C. Assault made him a key component to the staff for three years until resigning in late November after being charged with his third DUI since 2008.
Maryland fans should be excited about the hiring of Warren who appears to be an excellent developing coach, particularly at the point guard position. The Terps are depleted this upcoming season at the point, with incoming freshman Romelo Trimble the only scholarship player currently at the position.
MD native Kenny Johnson chooses Louisville over hometown
Former Indiana assistant Kenny Johnson was Maryland’s top target to fill the assistant slot but he agreed to terms to join Rick Pitino and Louisville. Johnson, a Maryland alumnus (’99), attracted top 20 recruiting classes in each of his two seasons in Bloomington. Johnson passed on a chance to coach and recruit for his hometown team (and alma mater), taking his connections with Team Takeover AAU to Louisville instead.