Maryland men’s basketball assistant coach Tony Skinn will leave head coach Kevin Willard’s staff to become the head coach at George Mason, per a release. It’s the 40-year old’s first collegiate head coaching job.
Skinn played for the Patriots from 2003 to 2006 and was a large part of their unlikely run to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament in 2006. He played professionally in Europe and was a member of the Nigerian national team that qualified for the 2012 Olympics.
He will replace former George Mason coach Kim English, who left the Patriots to become head coach at Providence College. The position with the Friars opened up following Ed Cooley’s move to Georgetown.
“Tony is ready to run and lead Mason’s men’s basketball program,” Willard said in the George Mason release. “He has great energy, is a ferocious competitor and will demand excellence from his players.”
Skinn joined Willard’s staff during his inaugural season with the Terps after spending three seasons as an assistant coach under Willard at Seton Hall from 2018 to 2021. He spent a season as an assistant coach at Ohio State before joining the Terps in March 2022.
His departure leaves a large hole for Willard to fill on his staff after just one season with the Terps.
The Takoma Park native has deep ties to the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region and played a large role in the Terps’ recruiting efforts.
He is credited as the primary recruiter for two Maryland class of 2023 commits — Washington Post All-Met player of the year DeShawn Harris-Smith and guard Jahnathan Lamothe, according to 247Sports.
Those skills will be needed. The Patriots went 20-13 last season and 11-7 in Atlantic 10 play, but Skinn will need to rebuild following the departure of multiple players who entered the transfer portal to follow English to Providence or go elsewhere.