The question is, "Does anyone know a good softball coach who'd like to stay at Maryland for a few years?" After a very promising first season heading the Terrapins' softball program the University of Maryland announced Thursday afternoon that head coach Courtney Scott-Deifel had accepted the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas.
Scott-Deifel who had been an assistant coach at Maryland in 2009 and 2010, returned with much fanfare to take the head coaching position for the 2015 season. With the team coming off the worst season in the 20 year history of the program - a year in which they won only 11 games - Scott-Deifel faced an immediate challenge of revitalizing winning culture in which the players also needed to regain their passion for the sport.
In addition, she had to deal with Maryland's move to playing its first season in the Big Ten - a conference that featured NCAA Women's College World Series finalist Michigan. Though the squad faded a bit toward the end of the season, Scott-Deifel passed the test with flying colors overseeing a 16 game improvement as the Terps finished at 27-27 in her lone year at the helm.
Athletics Director Kevin Anderson issued a conventional statement, "We appreciate Courtney's commitment and dedication to our program. Our softball program made great strides in its first season in the Big Ten Conference and we wish Courtney the very best."
In a recent interview on Terp Talk, Anderson spoke about the trend of recruiting and seeking verbal commitments from athletes at ever younger ages. This is endemic in softball. Because of these early commitments, even had she stayed, Scott-Defiel wouldn't have been able to even begin to attract with top level recruits to Maryland until the 2017 or 2018 season. Her departure is likely to set that back yet another year.