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Kevin Willard named Maryland men’s basketball head coach

The former Seton Hall head coach will take over the Maryland men’s basketball program.

Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Former Seton Hall men’s basketball head coach Kevin Willard has signed a seven-year contract to become will be the next head coach of Maryland men’s basketball, the program announced Monday on Twitter.

Willard steps into the role after former Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon and the program parted ways in December. Former assistant coach Danny Manning who joined Maryland in April 2021 served as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

The contract is set to run through the 2028-29 season.

The head coach will make $3.9 million for this upcoming season— a $500,000 base salary combined with the supplemental income of $3.4 million. That number will increase by $100,000 in years two through seven.

Across his time at Seton Hall, Willard amassed a 225-161 record with appearances in five of the last six NCAA Tournaments — it would have been six of the last seven had the 2020 NCAA Tournament not been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, Willard led the Pirates to the Round of 32 where Seton Hall lost by just four points to No. 1-seed Kansas.

“Growing up and coaching in the region, I have always admired Maryland basketball. Being named head coach of one of the nation’s premier basketball programs is a tremendous honor,” Willard said in a release. “Thank you to President Pines and Damon Evans for trusting me to energize this proud program as we look to galvanize our passionate fanbase with a gritty, hard-working style of basketball. Having coached against Maryland several times and at XFINITY Center, I know how Terp fans feel about this team. I embrace the high expectations. Skill development and a dedication to academic success will be cornerstones of our program and I can promise Terp Nation we will work to make them proud of this basketball team as we build winners on the court and in the classroom. Julie and our boys are excited to join the Terrapin family.”

Most recently, Willard and the No. 8-seed Seton Hall Pirates finished their season 21-11 with a first-round exit from the NCAA Tournament after they fell to No. 9-seed TCU, 69-42. Willard just completed his 12th season at Seton Hall. Prior to that role, Willard was an assistant coach and associate head coach at Louisville before a three-year stint as the head coach at Iona.

In terms of the buyout terms of this contract between Maryland and Willard, if the head coach leaves the program before March 31, 2023, he owes the university $4.5 million within one year of the date he ends his employment.

However, if the university terminates Willard’s contract, it will owe the head coach 90% of whatever remains on the deal.

In terms of incentives, Willard will receive $25,000 for each NCAA Tournament appearance. If the furthest the team goes is the Round of 32, Willard earns $30,000, if it is the Sweet 16, Willard earns $75,000, if it is the Elite Eight, he earns $150,000, a Final Four appearance gives Willard $200,000 and a national championship appearance earns Willard $250,000. These numbers are not cumulative and the maximum NCAA Tournament bonus the head coach can receive is $400,000 for winning a national championship.

If the Terps win a Big Ten regular season or tournament championship outright, the contract states Willard receives $75,000. If Maryland ties as the Big Ten regular season champion, Willard earns $50,000.

Maryland finished the 2021-22 season with a 15-17 record and went 7-13 in conference play. The Terps collected wins in four of their last six games and nearly pulled off a comeback against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament but their season ended with a four-point loss to the Spartans.

“Kevin Willard was a proven winner in the Big East while at Seton Hall,” former Maryland men’s basketball head coach Gary Williams said, per release. “The intensity level of his teams reflect the passion that Kevin will bring to our team and the university.”

Willard’s introductory press conference will be held Tuesday at the Xfinity Center at 6 p.m. and will be open to the public.

Editor’s note: This article was updated with financial terms after receiving the information through a public records request.