SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Terrapin Times caught up with Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson for an exclusive, one-one-one interview 24 hours before the Foster Farms Bowl Dec. 30 in Santa Clara, Calif.
And he discussed everything from his future to Randy Edsall's future to the dramatic turnaround of the No. 12 Terrapin men's basketball team.
TT rolled the tape, first touching on Anderson being back home in Northern California with his family, while seeing the football program enjoy the Bay Area, many for the first time.
"Well it's great to be back home where it is always special. But what made the trip truly great for me is that most of our players had never been out West. And then for them to come experience San Francisco and all it has to offer? Well, it's very satisfying for me. And the bowl does such a tremendous job from everything from going to Alcatraz and a lot of other new and different things. And that truly made me feel good, and especially for our seniors.
"And you know, the Military Bowl was a great experiece for us last year, and it was close to home. But as far as the bowl experience....because you want your players to be able to go to and experience different parts of the country and they have been able to do this. To see them walk around with a smile on their faces, while being able to prepare for a big game against a program like Stanford. But also being able to have a wonderful bowl experience. It is so gratifying to me."
Anderson then touched on the two consecutive bowl trips under Randy Edsall, and the direction of the football program now.
"You know Keith, we had talked about this before: Going into the Big Ten in year one, well most people didn't think we could be competitive. But that was part of our plan, we planned on being competitive right away, and in the upper half. And so far we have been able to prove it. And now with that, our first year success, and with the high-performance [indoor] center project we have on the way.
"And you and I have talked about that, and now that we're going to the next level I think we are going to be able to keep a lot of these young players home that can make a difference in anybody's program in our program. So the future is very bright. And I love our coaching staff, I love our head coach, and I see all the components that we talked about four years ago really coming together."
On the future of Edsall, Anderson said extension talks have already begun to keep him at College Park and will resume once they get back. Edsall has two years remaining on his initial contract.
"I have the upmost respect for what Randy has done, and I want him to be a part of the program for a very long time," Anderson said.
As for men's hoops, and the turnaround Coach Mark Turgeon has orchestrated, Anderson's eyes lit up as much:
"Wow, that is another story in itself. Even when we were talking last year, when all those kids transferred and everybody was saying, 'uh oh?' But I will be honest with you, I didn't think it would be like this so fast. I mean, I knew we were bringing in some very good basketball players, but to be the No. 12 team in the country right now? It's just a great feeling and speaks a lot to what Mark has done and his recruiting and his coaching.
"He is a tremendous basketball coach, and it's the reason we went after him because of his track record and how he has been able to have great programs everywhere he has gone. And so he is doing the same thing here. And I think the most heart-warming thing is going out watching him practice and seeing how much he is enjoying it now, coaching his team.
"And the kids are receptive and want to be at practice and want to play. And I mean, everything is coming together and it couldn't be better."
Finally, as we let Anderson get back to the pep rally this morning at Union Square in the city, he said of his own future:
"I love Maryland, and I love what we have been able to do. I will say this: in the beginning there were some challenges, and coming in I knew there were going to be some challenges. And now the fruits of the labor of everyone who has worked with us, well I just think we have a great team. And not only coaching but administration. And it would be crazy not to be able to enjoy the fruits of the labor here."
TT Exclusive: Anderson Talks His, HC's Future
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