When top-ranked Loyola and No. 3 Maryland meet Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore in what is being billed as a rematch of last year’s national title game, one interested observer who won’t be actively involved in the proceedings is Kevin Warne.
Warne was the defensive coordinator responsible for aiding the Terps’ back-to-back appearances in NCAA tournament finals, but on August 14, he agreed to succeed Dave Urick as the head coach at Georgetown.
The move wasn’t surprising – what assistant coach doesn’t dream of helming his own program? – but it did raise some eyebrows considering that Warne was a member of Maryland’s staff when athletic director Kevin Anderson decided to stop scheduling games against the Hoyas in any sport until Georgetown agrees to play the Terps in men’s basketball.
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Warne said the acrimony between the two schools had no impact on his decision to leave Maryland.
“No hesitation whatsoever,” he said Friday afternoon. “Coach [John] Tillman was great to me and allowed me to investigate the opportunity and supported me in my decision.”
Warne said he didn’t eye the Hoyas opening when Urick stepped down on July 13. But when the school inquired, he listened.
“I wasn’t looking for a job,” he said. “I guess this was an opportunity that came about and it came about fast. I wasn’t really looking. You hear all the rumors and then all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Hey, as an assistant, I want to see if I have an opportunity to have a chance to run my own program and take my experiences and learn from them and build something that’s mine.’ But I didn’t have to leave. The opportunity presented itself.”
Warne is intent on reversing Georgetown’s trend of five consecutive years without qualifying for the NCAA tournament, but he did acknowledge that he would be interested in resuming the annual series with the Terps.
“I don’t know if I have any say in it,” he said with a laugh. “But in lacrosse terms, yeah, it’d be good [to revive the] Beltway rivalry, and if the opportunity presents itself, then yeah, without a doubt.”