The Maryland men’s basketball team’s coaching carousel is starting to slow down, as one of the two vacant assistant coaching positions has been occupied. The team announced that Cliff Warren had been hired to take over as director of basketball operations for the program. This hire fills a position within the school that had been unoccupied as the Terps elevated Dustin Clark, the man previously in that spot, to assistant coach.
Warren, a nearby Silver Spring native, spent the past nine years as head coach at Jacksonville University in Florida. Warren replaced legendary coach Hugh Durham in 2005, and amassed 126 wins during his time there and two NIT appearances. Prior to that, Warren served as an assistant under Paul Hewitt at Siena then Georgia Tech. In 2004 with the Yellow Jackets, Warren helped guide the team to a national championship appearance.
Warren, 46, is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University, where he played two seasons with the basketball team.
The Terrapins still have one coaching spot left to fill after assistant Scott Spinelli left for an assistant job at Boston College.
Great hire, plain and simple. Maryland picks up an X’s and O’s coach to replace the departed Scott Spinelli on the bench. As nice as it is to bring in guys with incredibly strong ties in the recruiting scene, you still have to have coaches who can help with strategics every now and then. Warren offers Maryland someone who can do that.
He’s also a local hire as he’s from Silver Spring, Maryland. Warren’s familiarity with the area is most definitely going to negate a transition period some coaches go through, as e should feel at home right away. It sounds like Warren is here to stay as well with close proximity to family and friends; stability at the coaching position is a must.
Warren wasn’t brought in here to recruit, though having someone with national championship experience on the roster certainly won’t hurt recruiting in any way. He brought Jaylen Adams and Tim Bond (two Baltimore guards) to Jacksonville, and there’s no way they were going there without him, so it’s evident he has at least some ties to the scene.
What’s more important though, is that by almost every single person’s standards, Warren is a great guy and a builder of men. As a coach, most at Jacksonville loved him despite three losing seasons, and the only real reason he was let go was due to an administrative change. Warren’s players had solid graduation rates and never got into trouble. Maryland already has a pretty squeaky clean hoops image right now, and Warren only continues that. Bringing him in to help guide some of these younger players in the right direction is a subtle point, but one that could make all the difference.
Overall Grade: A
Local hire, great guy = much win