Jeff Hathaway, the athletic director at the University of Connecticut, is from the D.C. area, attended Dematha High School and graduated from the University of Maryland. So When Debbie Yow left Maryland to take the AD job at N.C. State, it made a lot sense that Hathaway would be a leading candidate to replace her.
Now, the seemingly inevitable reunion has hit a rather substantial roadblock.
On Monday, Hathaway was named the Big East's Chairman of the Division I Men's basketball committee, which according to Don Markus at the Baltimore Sun, probably means that he will not be leaving UCONN after all.
According to Greg Shaheen, senior vice president for basketball and business strategy for the NCAA, Hathaway's position on the committee for the upcoming season would not follow him if he were to leave the Big East school for Maryland; he simply would be replaced by another Big East representative. Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman is the ACC's representative on the committee, and just finished his first year of a five-year commitment.
As a Maryland alum, I can try to convince myself that Hathaway might be more interested in a return home than he would be with a position in the NCAA, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.
Friends of Hathaway have said that he has coveted the most high-profile committee chair position in college sports since returning to Connecticut in 2003 to replace Lew Perkins (another former Maryland AD) after getting his first job as an AD at Colorado State two years before.
It appears as though we can cross Hathaway off the list of candidates. It's not official yet, but it's getting there. So where does that leave us?
Another potential candidate with ties to College Park, former associate athletic director Rob Mullens, left Kentucky (where he was deputy AD) last week to become athletic director at Oregon. The only known candidate appears to be interim athletic director Randy Eaton, who according to the Washington Post has been nominated for consideration by the search committee.
Don't expect this position to be filled any time soon. The committee charged with finding a replacement met for the first time last week, even though it has been almost a month since Yow's departure.
As always, SB Nation's Maryland blog Testudo Times, has the campus perspective.
Hathaway has been a candidate since day one and has been rumored to be interested in the job. He's the most attainable "big name" candidate Maryland could grab. The potential sanctions he'd face at UConn probably makes jumping ship for Maryland even more attractive, though it also makes him less attractive to Maryland. This is the first (and maybe only) thing really pulling him toward staying at UConn outside of pure loyalty.
In terms of other candidates, Testudo Times continues to back Joe Castiglione, the incredibly qualified yet likely unattainable Oklahoma athletic director. Stay tuned, because it's going to be a long and potentially AD-less summer for the Terps.