In his eight years at Maryland, men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon has rarely strayed too far from a certain profile when hiring an assistant.
Most, if not all, had ties to the Baltimore-Washington area’s Amateur Athletic Union scene as a top-notch recruiter or to Turgeon himself.
Former Michigan assistant DeAndre Haynes breaks the mold.
Turgeon announced Monday that Haynes, 35, was being added to his staff to replace Kevin Broadus, who left in late April to become the head coach at Morgan State.
A former college star at Kent State who was the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year as a senior, Haynes played professionally overseas for six years. He spent the past two seasons at Michigan.
In a telephone interview Monday, Turgeon acknowledged that Haynes did not follow the pattern of most of his previous hires, saying, “To me, it felt right, and that’s why I did it. I think Maryland can recruit nationally, we can recruit internationally.
“To me, it’s just getting the right fit. Going through the process, it’s just got to feel right for me, and with DeAndre, it felt right. I think he’s going to be good for us.”
Haynes was largely credited with the development of Michigan’s guards, in particular point guard Zavier Simpson, who was named first team All-Big Ten and earned all-defensive team honors (with Maryland’s Bruno Fernando) last season as a junior.
“With [assistant] Matt [Brady], we have a coach who can really coach, knows the game, and with DeAndre, he hasn’t been a head coach yet [like Brady, who coached at James Madison and Marist]. It sounds like DeAndre has a great feel. He’s really good with guards,” Turgeon said.
“I hired him more because I think he’s a relationship builder. I think that’s important in today’s game, not only with recruiting, but with the players you have. I think our staff does a good job with that. I think I’m just adding another piece that will do a great job with it.”
Calling Haynes “one of our absolute best” assistants he had during his 12 years at Michigan, new Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Beilein said in a statement: “He prioritizes player relationships and our student-athletes developed a complete trust and love for him.
“As a teacher of the game, DeAndre helped make our student-athletes better every day and his attention to detail is outstanding. He is also an excellent recruiter with a keen eye for talent. This is a tremendous hire and I feel Dre is a great fit for the University of Maryland and the Big Ten Conference.”
In a telephone interview Monday afternoon, Haynes said that he was impressed with how hard the Maryland players were working when he visited the campus last week.
“To see guys working out in the weight room, to see the guys in the gym, to see guys getting treatment, to me that’s how it was when I was at Michigan,” Haynes said. “It felt good to be wanted and to be back on the floor. I love basketball and I really look forward to working with them.”
Turgeon had interviewed at least two other candidates last month, former Maryland point guard Duane Simpkins as well as LaSalle assistant Kenny Johnson, a Maryland graduate who started his college coaching career at Towson before gaining a reputation as one of the country’s top recruiters at Indiana and Louisville.
After passing on both, Turgeon said he was prepared to go through the season without hiring a third full-time assistant to join Brady and Bino Ranson.
“I was in no hurry because I wanted to make sure I had the right fit,” Turgeon said. “I wasn’t going to hire a coach if it didn’t feel right.”
Turgeon said that Beilein reached out to him after it became apparent that new Wolverines coach Juwan Howard was not going to retain either Haynes or Luke Yaklich, now at Texas. In turn, Turgeon called Saddi Washington, the only member of Beilein’s staff that Howard kept, to ask about Haynes.
Haynes then called Turgeon.
“It just all came together,” Turgeon said.
Turgeon said that both Brady and Haynes will share in helping develop the guards.
“We have so many of them, I think they’ll do a great job in making those guys better,” Turgeon said. “I thought Matt did a great job with Anthony [Cowan] last year, bringing him along. I think DeAndre will give just a little bit more because he loves it, he’s passionate about it. I let him hang around our players when he was interviewed and they liked him.”
Haynes said he is looking forward to working with a group of guards led by senior Anthony Cowan Jr. and includes junior Darryl Morsell (Mount Saint Joseph) as well as sophomores Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins and Serrel Smith Jr.
“I think they’re the best group of guards in the Big Ten,” Haynes said.
One of the benefits of hiring Haynes is his familiarity with the Big Ten, as well his ability to recruit in areas where Maryland has not been able to land recruits. Haynes grew up in Detroit and spent his entire coaching career in the Midwest, having previously worked at Kent State and Toledo.
“It had a lot to do with [Maryland’s interest]. He’s recruited at this level, he’s been successful at this level, obviously,” Turgeon said. “He’s been with a guy that I really respect in John Beilein. It just felt right. He knows the league. He’s got some recruiting areas he knows well that might be able to help us get into some areas in the Big Ten that we haven’t really been able to get into. I’m excited about it.”
Said Haynes: “I have strong ties out here in the Midwest. There’s a lot of talent out there in the Midwest. That gives us a different reason to bring it to Maryland that I can I tap into. I’m excited about building new relationships, too, on the East Coast. I’m not afraid to go anywhere. My phone is blowing up with guys saying, ‘Dre, I’m a Terp and I got you. I’m a Terp fan now.’ That means a lot to me.”