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Maryland men’s basketball assistant Grant Billmeier hired as head coach at NJIT

Billmeier coached under Kevin Willard for 12 seasons.

Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Miles/Maryland Athletics

Maryland men’s basketball assistant coach Grant Billmeier has joined the head coaching ranks, leaving the Terps for the top gig at NJIT, a source close to the program confirmed to Testudo Times. Jeff Goodman of Stadium was first to report the news of an official deal on Wednesday.

Billmeier is the second Maryland assistant coach to accept a head coaching job this cycle; Tony Skinn was hired as George Mason’s coach on March 30. Maryland head coach Kevin Willard filled the void left by Skinn with former DeMatha Catholic High School coach Mike Jones, but he will need to add — or promote — another coach to fill out his top three.

Billmeier, 38, is a long-time Willard assistant. He was on Willard’s Seton Hall staff from 2010-14 in a basketball operations role and from 2015-21 as an assistant before eventually following him to College Park for a season. Billmeier, a native of Pennington, New Jersey, will return to his home state, where he also played collegiately at Seton Hall.

“This is a terrific opportunity for Grant who is so highly deserving of leading his own program,” Willard said. “We’ve worked together for over a decade and he’s been instrumental in so much of the success our programs have had. Grant cares deeply about his players and is a tireless worker to ensure they develop their full potential on and off the court.”

Billmeier has a long track record of developing big men and was considered one of the best assistants in the country at doing so. He had a key hand in the successes of Sandro Mamukelashvili and Angel Delgado — both of whom made it to the NBA — at Seton Hall, and was also monumental in Julian Reese’s emergence with the Terps.

Reese averaged 11.4 points and 7.2 rebounds last season in his sophomore campaign, both sizable increases from his freshman numbers. He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention.

The Highlanders’ new head coach will be tasked with bringing them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their Division I existence. Based in Newark, NJIT has only been a Division I program since 2006. The Highlanders, members of the America East Conference, have only had four winning seasons at the NCAA’s highest level and went 7-23 during the 2022-23 season.

“I want to thank President Lim and Lenny Kaplan for the opportunity to return to my home state and become the head men’s basketball coach at NJIT,” Billmeier said. “My staff and I will strive daily for excellence in every aspect of our program, do things the right way, and compete for championships. My family and I look forward to becoming a part of Highlander Nation and can’t wait to get started.”