Kevin Conry is leaving the Maryland men's lacrosse team for Michigan after all.
After a report by College Crosse was disputed Tuesday, the Terps' associate head coach and defensive coordinator became the second head coach in the Wolverines' brief Division I history, Michigan announced Wednesday. Conry replaces John Paul, who was fired May 2 after six seasons.
Conry interviewed for the opening at UMBC last year, but former Maryland and Loyola Maryland offensive coordinator Ryan Moran was hired to succeed Don Zimmerman.
But Conry's star rose after he helped the top-seeded Terps end a 42-year drought and capture their first NCAA Division I championship with a victory over No. 3 seed Ohio State on May 29. In five years on head coach John Tillman's staff, Conry has been the architect of a defense that has ranked in the top 10 in the country four times. That unit allowed just 14 goals on the final weekend of the 2017 season.
Maryland also had a pair of individual defensive standouts. Senior defenseman Tim Muller earned the William C. Schmeisser Award given to Division I's outstanding defensive player and then became the first defender in NCAA tournament history to be named the Most Outstanding Player in the postseason.
And senior short-stick defensive midfielder Isaiah Davis-Allen became the first Maryland defensive player to gain first-team All-America status in back-to-back years since Mike Farrell in 1975 and 1976. Muller joined Davis-Allen on the first team, and junior defenseman Bryce Young and junior long-stick midfielder Matt Neufeldt earned honorable-mention accolades.
Tillman – who has watched former assistants Kevin Warne, Moran and now Conry become head coaches at Georgetown, UMBC and Michigan, respectively – said he supported Conry's decision to make the move.
"As a head coach, I feel like it's part of my job to help our assistant go where they want to go, and we've been very blessed to have some awesome assistants," he said. "Kevin has done a great job for us, and one of his dreams was to be a head coach, and part of my job was to help him get there to the best of my ability. We feel pretty blessed, and I think it shows what people think of the University of Maryland when you have a guy go to Michigan, a guy go to Georgetown, a guy go to UMBC."
Conry, a former Johns Hopkins defenseman who graduated in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in political science, began his coaching career at Siena from 2004 to 2006. He then moved to Penn State for the 2007 season before joining Fairfield's staff as the defensive coordinator from 2008 to 2011 and associate head coach for the past two years.
Conry should be familiar with Michigan, which clashed annually with the Terps since 2014 and as members of the Big Ten over the past three seasons. The Wolverines set program single-season records this past spring for wins (eight), road victories (five), points (237) and assists (89) and defeated No. 10 Penn, 13-12, on March 11 to secure its first win over a ranked opponent.
But after an 8-1 start, Michigan failed to collect another victory and lost all five conference games. The team's average margin of defeat against league opponents was 7.8 goals.
The university is committed to supporting the sport. The program is scheduled to move into the new Athletics South Competition and Performance Complex in 2018 with a dedicated lacrosse facility that will feature 2,000 seats and locker rooms.
Conry earned $103,000 in 2016, according to a salary database for all state employees. According to a similar database for University of Michigan employees, Paul made $114,000 in 2017.
Efforts to reach Conry were unsuccessful.