Blog Entry

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

Posted on: December 19, 2010 2:17 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

On its face, Maryland's ouster of Ralph Friedgen doesn't make a lot of sense. The Fridge had just engineered the FBS's second-biggest turnaround to finish a game out of the ACC Atlantic Divison title, there was no longer any hurry to clear his office out for coach-in-waiting James Franklin after Franklin took the Vanderbilt job, and you'd think being an alum and the guy who dragged the Terps out of their '90s doldrums would have earned Friedgen some slack.

It didn't make much sense ... until the whispers surfaced throughout Friday and Saturday that Mike Leach was likely to become the next man-in-charge in College Park. Those whispers gained even more credence Sunday when the Washington Post reported that an attempt to sign Leach was all but a certainty:
Maryland is expected to try to hire former Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach as head football coach once the school announces Ralph Friedgen’s departure after a 10-year tenure, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

There is mutual interest between Leach and Maryland, according to three sources, two of whom are close to Maryland and one of whom is close to Leach. Leach is said to be very interested in the job. He has a strong relationship with Kevin Plank , a former Maryland football player who sits on the school’s board of trustees and whose apparel company, Under Armour, is the outfitter for the school’s athletic teams.
With all due respect to the good work Friedgen did with the shambles of a program he inherited 10 years ago, if the Terps legitimately have the choice between the Fridge and Leach -- and Leach's willingness to lobby for nearly any job that came open this fall suggests they do -- then it's not really much of a choice. Maryland and Texas Tech are schools with roughly similar historical profiles, though Tech's presence in the rugged Big 12 South rather than the ACC means Leach arguably had something of the harder job; from 2002 to 2009 Leach never failed to win fewer than eight games, while Friedgen only reached that benchmark three seasons in the last seven.

There's also this, from the Post report:
Season ticket sales have declined for five straight seasons. The school fell more than $500,000 short of season ticket sales projections in each of the past two seasons. And only once this season – despite a successful 8-4 record – did Maryland fill Byrd Stadium to 75 percent capacity.
If the Terps now have the cash to buy out Friedgen they didn't a year ago, and they're not scared away by the Leach-Tech lawsuit still due to have its day in court, it wouldn't make much sense not to make this move. We're not yet in the stage where it's "just a matter of time" (the notoriously unshy Leach has yet to publicly announce his interest), but at this point it's hard to find any indications it won't happen sooner rather than later.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:30 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:19 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:19 am

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

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Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2010 8:54 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

With you 100% malloman!  Personally, I don't care how Leach relates/related to the press.  He is a heck of a coach.  OU couldn't beat him in Lubbock and he took an also ran team, in a out of the way corner of Texas (and an out of the way corner in Texas is REALLY out of the way!) and made them into a contender most years.  He was very fun to watch and you never knew what would come out of his mouth at a post game press conference.  I have tons of friends who are Tech fans and 99% of them are so fed up with the Red Raiders for letting Leach go.  Several have cancelled season tickets and quit donating.  
If Mike Leach ends up at Maryland, I will be paying attention.  Most definitely.  

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: December 20, 2010 7:38 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

Most of your post is fine, but go easy on how you characterize those shooters.   Sure, both had a coincidental and unfortunate Virginia Tech connection.  The guy at Fort Hood was a psychiatrist who decided to demonstrate that jihad is only an internal struggle to make youself better.  The other guy was just a person who needed a good psychiatrist.

Neither was a regular military or CIA - type guy.  I guess I think of Virginia Tech's normal students as engineers, and agri-business people.

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2010 7:36 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

Just like matt74 and the previous posters have said, didn't see this one coming and what a nice way to show loyalty after the season he has put together and the run he had while at a second rate football school.  Sure Leach is a bigger name BUT you have to be careful what you ask for.  This "Leech" as I will call him, has tried to throw his name out there for every opening that has come up and as such they deserve each other.  The big Leech will leave Maryland for a bigger name school the first chance he gets as evidenced by trying to flirt with every opening and Maryland would deserve this to happen based on what they did to Friedgen so Maryland, if the Leech has a couple winning seasons watch out, he will be listening to all offers and jumping ship for the one that pays the most money.  I don't know the guy personally obviously but all i know is when someone is after every job what makes you think the will stay loyal when a better offer comes along and I don't know his history but what ties does he have to Maryland anyway?  To me it's like stealing a girl away from another guy, she cheated on him and left him so what makes you think she won't do it to you?

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: December 20, 2010 3:41 pm

What in h's b's is Maryland thinking?

Ralph Friedgen has brought this program up from the depths of despair twice.  When he took over a 2-9 program late in 2000 he built them into an ACC champion in one year going 10-1 (losing only to FSU) and an Orange Bowl showdown with Spurrier's Gators.  He is just starting to build a decent defense (they win championships) and the six-game improvement this year to an 8-4 record was not a feat to be sneezed at in 2010. 

 Maryland has two things going against them winning another ACC title and its two things that no other coach can fix.  Florida State is five states away with a recruiting base (the state of Florida) that any smart coach is going to tap into really well like Jimbo Fisher and Bobby Bowden once did.  They have the whole gulf coast to recruit from as well.  Virginia Tech, who just came into the league since Maryland's last ACC title has slightly lower academic standards than does Maryland and plus they get a lot of military-type kids who are going to work for the government or go into active duty (or shoot down some fellow troops in Fort Hood, Texas).  In other words, those kind are not going to Maryland (even the CIA-controlled psychos like the Korean-born gunman who did his thing back in April 2007)  

Mike Leach is the sexy choice because of what Cliff Kingsbury, Sonny Cumbie, B.J. Symons, Cody Hodges and Graham Harrell did at the quarterback position but Texas Tech had no defense that's why the best they ever did was a Cotton Bowl appearance in 2006 and when they played a good defense they were sunk like a torpedoed ship.  Sure, if Leach is hired he will have winning seasons every year because its the ACC not the Big 12 or SEC but they will have a hard time stopping Virginia and Duke.  It was basketball a year after Maryland's Orange Bowl appearance that they won a national title in that's why the football attendance has not been that great since then.   It's just like over in Durham and Chapel Hill.  It's all about the hardwood.

   This would be not only a huge mistake but it would be a supreme insult to a good man, a loyal Maryland Terrapin, Ralph Friedgen.  They will go nowhere but in circles with Mike "BIG-HAIR" Leach.   

Since: Oct 13, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2010 3:18 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

It's official, Friedgen has been FIRED. I must admit I never saw this coming. He just won ACC coach of the year, and now he's gone!
WOW! I certaintly hope the Terps can land Mike Leach as new head coach, otherwise this move doesn't make sense.

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: December 20, 2010 2:30 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

Thanks for the reply. 
In his 11 win season, Tech gave up 28 points per game while scoring 44 points per game.
In his 10 seasons at Tech, they won 66% of their games by out scoring their opponents by average scores of 37 to 26.

I believe he will sell tickets in Maryland.

Since: Dec 24, 2009
Posted on: December 20, 2010 12:52 pm

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

All it takes is scoring one more point than the other team to get a win. Leach gets wins

As to some who say he is too controlling in re: access to the press, the situation in Lubbock is a perfectly good example why this is a good policy. The bad press he received after an ESPN announcer tried to have him fired would justify any coach being wary of the press. The national press seldom if ever gave Leach credit for running a clean program, for having a high graduation rate, few if any off-field incidents concerning his players, and having former players come to his defense. There are still fans in Lubbock who pine for Leach leading the Red Raiders. I personally became a Red Raider fan when Leach was there because the team was exciting to watch and they won. And when they didn't win, Leach called them out for concentrating on their "fat little girl friends" instead of football. And I don't think a single player was diagnosed with PTSD for having heard that. Some of their girlfriends may have even started eating more healthily.

I am no longer a fan of Texas Tech. Don't have much respect for ESPN for that matter.

But if Maryland hires Leach, I will watch their progress with interest. This hire could put the school in the National Spotlight for years to come.

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