Amid concerns raised by boosters and alumni about the search process for Maryland's next athletic director, a member of the Board of Regents offered his support Thursday for the way university president Wallace D. Loh is going about finding Kevin Anderson's successor.
Gary Attman said in a short telephone interview that he is confident in the manner in which the search is being conducted, and is comfortable with the possibility of acting athletic director Damon Evans being given the job on a full-time basis.
"He's a very good candidate. He's doing a great job as the interim," Attman said. "The process will consider him and other worthy candidates.
"That's the only goal of this search — that's to get the best candidate in the country to work with with us and build on the success we've had and to lead us in the future."
Attman said the Board of Regents will not get directly involved in the selection process, but acknowledged it will have a voice in the decision through fellow regent Barry Gossett, who was named by Loh to the eight-person search committee.
"He is without question the most capable regent to be involved with this," said Attman, the present and CEO of Baltimore-based FutureCare Heath and Management Corporation. "I feel he will represent our interests and the interests of the [University of Maryland] system very well."
Attman said he hasn't read the 14-page letter longtime booster Barry DesRoches sent to the Board of Regents on Tuesday, outlining the concerns he and others have in the process and in Evans' potential candidacy. Attman said he has been made aware of the letter's content.
Attman doesn't believe Loh has set up the committee to get enough votes for the 48-year-old Evans to be named the next athletic director. A list of candidates is being put together by Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, a New Jersey-based search firm.
Evans, who was the athletic director at Georgia for six years before being fired in 2010 after being charged with driving under the influence, came to Maryland in 2014 as senior associate athletic director and chief financial officer.
Evans took over the day-to-day duties of running the athletic department when Anderson began a six-month sabbatical in October. Anderson's departure was announced on April 13.
Attman said Loh is "in favor of a national search with a quality search firm and I'm sure it will be a robust search. If Damon ends up as the winner, he will have earned it."