Dalonte Hill, the Maryland men’s basketball assistant coach, will be taking a leave of absence from the program for an undisclosed period of time. The University of Maryland released a statement on Tuesday afternoon stating that Hill, who was hired from Kansas State upon Mark Turgeon’s arrival at Maryland, would be leaving for “personal matters.”
Hill’s online public records show that he was arrested on Sunday night for driving under the influence of alcohol, which would make this his second alcohol-related offense while at Maryland, and his third overall. While he was an assistant under Frank Martin at Kansas State, Hill was also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Widely regarded as one of the best recruiters in the nation and by far one of the best recruiters in the Washington, D.C. area, the loss could be significant on the recruiting front for the Terrapins. Hill was formerly an AAU coach for the D.C. Assault, and his prior relationships with the program allowed him to funnel in certain players, namely Roddy Peters and Romelo Trimble.
The university appears to be supporting Hill throughout the process, so it is unknown whether Mark Turgeon will seek to hire another person to take his place, or promote from within. Former Maryland point guard Eric Hayes is currently an assistant, and may end up getting an opportunity to (at least temporarily) show off his coaching acumen.
Either way, let’s hope Hill seeks the help he requires and comes back from this in a good way. No one ever wants to see an individual go down a path of destruction, and without this leave of absence, that’s where Hill could have ended up.