Documents offer glimpse of basketball coach search

You wouldn't have thought when Kevin Anderson arrived at the beginning of the 2010 football season that the new Maryland athletic director would be overseeing coaching searches for football and men's basketball -- all in his first year.

But that's what happened.

I recently received documents -- travel records, receipts and the like -- from the basketball search via a public records request. You may recall that I did the same sort of analysis of the football search earlier in the year.

In February, I learned that the football search was broader and more suspenseful than most fans (and reporters) knew. There were three finalists (Randy Edsall, Gus Malzahn, Mike Leach) in play on the day before Edsall was hired Jan. 2. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank loaned his plane for use during portions of the search.

So what did I learn about the basketball search?

Mostly that Anderson and an aide flew from Washington's Reagan National Airport to Las Vegas and back -- all in one day -- to meet with Arizona coach Sean Miller. That was the meeting in which there was absolutely no chemistry between the parties, and each went their separate ways. The Maryland folks checked into a JW Marriott and checked out the same day.

The bill was $144 for a "day room." I'm guessing Las Vegas has seen its share of that sort of short-term rental -- but not for business meetings. .

Anyways, Anderson arrived in Las Vegas on the morning of May 7, met with Miller and departed late in the afternoon, arriving home after midnight. Not exactly the way you'd want to do Vegas, right?

Anderson flew commercially, by the way -- USAirways there and Southwest back. I have no evidence that Plank -- who lent or chartered a plane five times for Maryland's use in a recent two-year period at a cost of $123,906 -- was involved in this one.

I found no surprises during the basketball search -- no hidden candidates.

After arriving back in Maryland, Anderson got word on May 8 from Mark Turgeon -- who had been out of cell phone range in the mountains of Pennsylvania -- that Turgeon was interested in the job.

Anderson, who is certainly hands-on, quickly arranged a meeting with Turgeon in Pittsburgh. And the rest is history.

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