Rumors were swirling in Tampa during Final Four weekend that at least one, and possibly two assistants on Brenda Frese's staff were in serious consideration for head coaching positions. The first shoe dropped Tuesday afternoon when Tina Langley accepted the head coaching spot at Rice University in Texas. Tina is from Alabama so landing somewhere in the South is no great surprise.
The announcement about Langley came as a bit more of a jolt than that of Marlin Chinn. Those rumors began flying as early as Sunday night and were circulating strongly by Monday morning. Perhaps it took a few extra hours for Chinn to work out the details but the University announced his departure earlier today (Wednesday). Chinn is taking his talents to south Florida - and Florida International University.
Langley joined the staff in 2008 and played a key role in the development of the Terps' post players, notably, Alicia DeVaughn and Brionna Jones. As associate head coach, she provided invaluable assistance to Frese on the recruiting trail. In her seven seasons, the Terps brought in four top-10 ranked classes.
In announcing her departure, Frese said, "We're really happy for Tina and we always want people in our program to continue to grow. This is part of the process in this business, especially when you have success. I know from firsthand experience that Tina will bring a work ethic and passion to Rice that is second to none. During Tina's time at Maryland, we won championships, made Final Fours and helped a lot of players achieve their dreams athletically, socially and academically. She made a huge impact on our program. I can't thank her enough for what she has meant to our team and personally to our family."
Langley expressed similar feelings for her associate of the last seven years, "Being a part of the Maryland family has been one of the greatest blessings of my life," Langley said. "I don't know how to begin to thank Brenda Frese for the many years of friendship and mentoring. She is not only one of the greatest coaches in the game, she is also an amazing person. To her, and to all the staff and student-athletes I have been so fortunate to work with, I will be forever grateful. I also want to thank the fans for their unwavering support. To be a part of the Maryland family is something incredibly special, and the relationships fostered in College Park will last a lifetime."
Chinn joined Frese's staff a season after Langley. He worked with the back court players and played a role in developing game plans. Like Langley, he has now been a part of two Final Four appearances.
"I am so thankful to Brenda Frese, the student-athletes and all the people I worked with for six wonderful seasons," Chinn said. "To all of the Rebounders and fans, it was an incredible ride. We accomplished some great things and Maryland will always have a special place in my heart. I am a Terp for life!"
Frese spoke of Chinn in glowing terms. "I'm really happy for Marlin to get this opportunity. He's been a veteran assistant, we've watched him grow and this is the next step for him. Just like Tina Langley, who just got hired at Rice, Marlin has been a very loyal assistant to our program. He's been a presence and a voice within our locker room. I take great pride in seeing anyone in this program achieve his or her dreams. I can't thank him enough for all he's given to Maryland. We wish him a ton of success."
Many suspected that when Maryland reached last year's Final Four that Langley could potentially move on. As Pete Volk noted, when you have a ridiculously successful program this should be expected. As someone who has gotten to know these two coaches, I know they are a loss for Maryland and I will certainly miss seeing Marlin at volleyball, softball and so many other Terps competitions. On the other hand, I wish them nothing but success in their new ventures.