Q&A with Maryland lacrosse coach John Tillman -- Part 1

Editor's note: This is part one of an interview with Maryland lacrosse head coach John Tillman. Check The Baltimore Sun's Lacrosse Insider blog on Wednesday for the second part.

News over the weekend that Maryland offensive coordinator Ryan Moran accepted the same position at Loyola Maryland leaves the Terps, a national semifinalist three of the past four years, with a vacancy on their coaching staff.

Head coach John Tillman said the process for finding Moran's successor involves posting the job opening for a week, submitting all applications to a committee for review and forwarding the committee's recommendations to Tillman.

Here is part one of a discussion with Tillman over the search for a new offensive coordinator and his reaction to Moran's decision.

Were you surprised by Ryan Moran's decision to leave for Loyola? 

Ryan was a guy that I worked with at Navy and I felt really comfortable with him when the job came open at Maryland. He was really big for us in terms of the transition with [former defensive coordinator and current Georgetown head coach Kevin] Warne and I coming on board. [Moran] and Jon Stainbrook certainly helped us. But Ryan looked at a number of positions over the last three or four years, and in the last two years, he applied to a couple different places and really strongly considered leaving. He's been at Maryland a long time, and he loves this place and is very passionate about it. But like anybody, I think maybe getting another school on his resume can be an attractive thing so that when job opportunities come open, you can say that you've been at some different places. ... Those are things that he and I have discussed.

I think so much of Ryan, and I just want he and his family to be happy. I will support him 100 percent. He has done a great job here. He should get a lot of credit for the success that we've had over the last four years. He's the guy that has really led our offense since I've been here. So he should get all of the credit for that. This certainly is not something that was a surprise for us, and it's not something that will impact my relationship with Ryan. I think the world of him and his family, and I'm excited for him.

I think one thing that people might not think about is, the opportunity to work with [Loyola head coach] Charley Toomey and that staff is pretty special. To be able to work with Charley and for Charley, I think he'll learn a lot, and you won't find a bigger fan of Charley than I am. So I think he'll do a great job for them, and I think Ryan will have the ability to work under a great leader and a great person. How could you not want that?

How much interest has been expressed in the vacant position?

There are some people that have already reached out, and we obviously are going to be on the lookout as well. We'll kind of take the process the proper way. You just want to find the best guy, not the first guy. So we'll do our due diligence and be thorough with the procedure to find the right guy for us.

How quickly do you think you will fill the opening?

I think the whole process is going to take us at least two weeks just to make sure we're following all the Maryland procedures. I'm not in any hurry to knock this thing out. I want to make sure that we find the right guy, and we've been very fortunate with some of the hires that we made. [Defensive coordinator] Kevin Conry has done an awesome job since he's been here. We lost Coach Warne [to Georgetown after the 2012 season] who is a guy who was a prominent figure here in terms of visibility, and a lot of people wondered how we would do defensively. I think we've just continued to do the things that Maryland has always done, which is play really good defense. That was a hire that we took our time on. We don't have to be quick on the decision.

How appealing is the offensive coordinator position?

That's up to the people that are looking at it, but certainly to be at a place where there is so much tradition and so much pride in lacrosse and a place where you're playing in a state where it's our state sport and to be the flagship school in the state, I think it's a great place to be. Certainly I feel very fortunate to be here to represent our alums and our state, and that's always a very special thing.


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