Updated: Apr 20, 2019
Following a search process that began after this past season, Salisbury University has its next men's basketball head coach in Maurice Williams.
SU's Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Gerry DiBartolo announced this afternoon that Williams had agreed to be the next face of the Sea Gulls' program.
Williams returns to Salisbury for the first time since the 2014-15 season, when he served as an assistant coach below Josh Merkel and was a part of SU's first-ever Capital Athletic Conference championship. The Sea Gulls also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament that season.
"We are excited to have Maurice join the Sea Gull family," DiBartolo said via press release. "He has a wealth of coaching experience ... we couldn't be happier to see where he will take the program moving forward."
Following his brief tenure on the coaching staff at SU, Williams has moved all throughout Division III as an assistant coach at Frostburg State, Stevenson and Johns Hopkins.
He will be returning to the DIII level after serving as an assistant at Longwood University (DI) last season as a part of a coaching staff that saw the Lancers reach their highest win total since the 2008-09 season.
"Returning to SU is something my wife and I are very excited about," Williams said in an SU press release. "I am thrilled to take on this role and lead Salisbury men's basketball and its young men into the future."
Rejoining the CAC, Williams will take over for Brian McDermott who served as interim head coach last season as the Sea Gulls finished with a 19-9 overall record adding a CAC Tournament win and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
A program that is looking to stick to the right track, with four NCAA Tournament appearances in the past five seasons, will turn to a face who has plenty of experience in conference.
As a player for Frostburg State University, Williams was an All-CAC first team honoree in the 2011-12 season, leading the team with 16.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Williams was selected amongst a group of four finalists that included Stuart Pradia, Mike Smelkinson and Brian Johnson. Each of the finalists had experienced resumes both locally in Maryland and across other levels of collegiate basketball.
Pradia served as associate head coach at Kean University last season with time as an assistant coach as well at Millersville University, Gettysburg College, Montclair State University and Washington College. Smelkinson had built a reputation as a high-quality coach at the junior college level in his time at Harford Community College as the head coach for five seasons. Johnson had previously been the head coach at Prince George's Community College before moving up to Southern Vermont College where he was at the helm last season.
What has been a tumultuous past year for SU men's basketball after the departure of three-year head coach Andrew Sachs last fall, now looks to be settling into some consistency. Williams will take over a program that has reached 20 wins in three of the past five seasons.
"Salisbury basketball has a proud history of success, and I can't wait to help add to that as we quickly head to the 2019-20 season," Williams said.
By CHASE GORSKI
Featured photo: New head coach of SU men's basketball Maurice Williams (SU Athletics image).