FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas is not going anywhere after he turned down an offer to become Maryland's head coach.
Here is a quick version of a story that will appear on the MH on-line. Will update this blog post later with more from the Turtle....
Coming off the greatest turnaround in FIU baseball's 37-year history and acknowledging he is building "something special", Golden Panthers coach Turtle Thomas turned down an offer to become the University of Maryland's baseball coach.
After a 20-36 season in his first year as FIU coach in 2007, Thomas guided the Panthers to a 34-21 record last season -- the largest win improvement in the history of the program.
"It's nice to be wanted," Thomas said. "But my heart is at FIU. We had the best turnaround in the program's history last season and I want to develop FIU baseball into one of the top college baseball teams in the state and in the nation. We are building something special at FIU."
Last week, Maryland athletic director Deborah Yow contacted Thomas about the vacant Terrapins coaching job.
Yow wanted to fly Thomas and his wife, Maria, up to Maryland on Sunday to introduce them to the program and have Thomas formally interview. However, after Thomas spoke with Yow for nearly 45 minutes on the phone, Thomas declined the job interview.
"I'm very, very happy that [FIU athletic director] Pete Garcia hired to me to be the leader of the baseball program at FIU," Thomas said. "When you are the head coach of a program to me you have to stand the test of time. It's not like you win one year, you're a flash in the pan and you jump to whatever else. You have to really put your roots down, put your feet on the ground, roll up your sleeves and get to work. "