Maryland hired a national search firm specializing in sports and entertainment to aid in finding a new athletic director, the school announced Thursday.
An eight-person search committee, which includes major athletic donor Barry Gossett and longtime field hockey coach Missy Meharg, was also named to help find a successor to Kevin Anderson.
In a letter posted on the university's website, university president Wallace D. Loh wrote that "Maryland is launching a national and confidential search" for a new athletic director.
"A national search means that we seek and consider all qualified candidates," Loh said. "A confidential search means that we secure the privacy of all candidates. The only candidate who will be identified publicly is the one named as the new Athletic Director."
The search committee will be chaired by Darryll Pines, Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Among those also named to the committee include Michelle Eastman, Loh's chief of staff, and Nicholas Hadley, a professor of physics and the faculty athletic representative.
In a move that was expected from the day it was announced he was taking a six-month “professional development sabbatical,” Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson resigned, the school announced Friday.
Meharg, who has been the school's field hockey coach for 30 years, is one of two coaches named to the committee. Track and field coach Andrew Valmon was the other. Mark Butler, chairman and CEO of Ollie's Bargain Outlet and a UMD Foundation Board trustee, will also serve on the search committee.
According to Loh's statement, Turnkey was involved in the search for athletic directors at Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgetown and Bowling Green.
Turnkey founder and CEO Len Perna, as well as former Villanova athletic director Gene DeFilippo, now Turnkey's managing director, will be oversee the process of vetting the candidates and setting up the interviews.
"I anticipate, as do the consultants, that the UMD Athletic Director position will attract strong candidates from throughout the nation," Loh wrote.
Anderson, who had been the school's athletic director since 2010, officially resigned two weeks ago Friday, nearly six months to the day when he started a six-month professional development sabbatical.