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Tag:Maryland Coaching Search
Posted on: January 2, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Maryland's next coach is Randy Edsall

Posted by Adam Jacobi

[UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: Maryland has officially announced the hiring of Randy Edsall tonight.]

After the unceremonious dismissal of Ralph Friedgen from the head coaching spot at Maryland , most people expected Mike Leach to be named the new head coach shortly thereafter. Leach was the only person named by Maryland AD Kevin Anderson at the press conference announcing Friedgen's departure, and he was the first person formally interviewed by Maryland earlier this week.

So, naturally, just hours after Connecticut 's 48-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, Huskies head coach Randy Edsall was reportedly tabbed to run the Terrapins.

Wait, what?

The Washington Post reported today that according to several sources, Edsall was at Maryland interviewing for the head coaching spot with the search committee. CSN's Chick Hernandez confirmed the report and said that "barring major setback," Edsall would be hired. Minutes later, Joe Schad reported on Twitter that Maryland had in fact tabbed Edsall, and here we are. The hire has not been confirmed by Maryland, and according to the Baltimore Sun, one source at the school insists Leach is still a candidate, but an announcement is expected within 24 hours.

If Terps fans are disappointed by the prospect of Edsall coming aboard, it'd be hard to blame them; bringing Leach and the Air Raid offense to Maryland would have been a breath of fresh air for the program after it took the hit of losing coach-in-waiting James Franklin in December. But a breath of fresh air isn't the same thing as a quality, long-term hire, and that's apparently the direction Maryland wants to go with this hire. Edsall built Connecticut from a I-AA power to a FBS BCS competitor (albeit arguably the worst ever) in just a few years, and Maryland could use that type of institutional quantum leap forward -- or, as Anderson put it, "from 'good' to 'great'." Whether Edsall can deliver on that scale, of course, is something that necessarily remains to be seen.

And if Edsall is indeed confirmed as Maryland's next top man, we can't help but wonder... Mike Leach to UConn?



Posted on: December 20, 2010 3:04 am
 

Report: Ralph Friedgen to coach Maryland in bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Updating an earlier report, it's now known who, precisely, will be coaching the Maryland Terrapins in their Military Bowl appearance against East Carolina on December 29. According to the Baltimore Sun, it'll be Ralph Friedgen himself, even though Friedgen is facing an imminent firing after being told he would not be coaching Maryland in 2011 and reportedly refusing to retire.

If Maryland does indeed allow Friedgen to coach out the end of the year, it'll be the first noble gesture toward him on the school's part since word first came down that his career at Maryland would be ending. Friedgen, as a longtime ambassador for (and alumnus of) Maryland, at least deserves one last chance to lead his team on his own terms instead of some unceremonious dump just weeks after being named ACC Coach of the Year.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that Maryland's not exactly facing stiff competition for Mike Leach, who's reportedly Maryland's first choice to replace Friedgen. The ex-Texas Tech head coach has been out of the college football world since being fired as Red Raiders head coach last December, so he's under no current obligation from any team and will likely remain available for Maryland until after the Terps' bowl game. 

At any rate, whether Maryland wins or loses against ECU, Friedgen deserves a hero's sendoff from his players -- right down to being carried off the field on their shoulders. He's lost over 100 pounds over the last two years, after all; that's a lot of prep work for just that one moment. Friedgen's reportedly an emotional guy, so we'll all know exactly how much the moment means to him when it's all said and done. We can debate for days whether Maryland is right to send Friedgen packing -- it's unpopular, but obviously, this isn't a decision a BCS school makes recklessly -- but if Maryland unconditionally allows Friedgen to coach through the bowl game, it'll at least be a step toward grace and the right message to send to the returning players.

Posted on: December 19, 2010 11:59 pm
 

Report: Ralph Friedgen refuses to retire

Posted by Adam Jacobi

As reported earlier, Ralph Friedgen has been informed that he will not be returning to the Maryland Terrapins as head coach in 2011.   That leaves Friedgen with just a couple options: retire, or get fired. The only difference would be a matter of buyout terms and public civility.

Well, according to the Baltimore Sun, Friedgen's not in the mood to acquiesce; he's reportedly refusing to retire, which would appear to force Maryland's hand. A firing's always uglier than a retirement, even one that's forced, but if Maryland's dead-set on ending the Friedgen era then the ends'll justify whatever means are necessary.

Now, that supposedly means the Mike Leach era is at hand, and now the real question is what this does to Maryland's Military Bowl appearance on December 29. Does Maryland fire Friedgen as of December 30 and give him one last hurrah (along with his buyout)? Does Maryland fire him straight away and install defensive coordinator Don Brown as the interim head coach? Or, if the deal with Leach is as imminent as the Washington Post report suggests, is the Dread Pirate Leach crashing the Military Bowl?

And last, between Vanderbilt taking Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin (which likely started this whole Friedgen mess) and Florida hiring Will Muschamp from Texas, isn't it time to assume that declaring an assistant coach the "Head Coach In Waiting" isn't that wise of an idea? It makes the assistant that much more valuable without actually obligating him to a thing at his current school, it makes him a more attractive hire for a school trying to make a splash, and his inevitable departure creates even more havoc than if he were just, y'know, an assistant. It's probably safe to say Maryland and Texas didn't exactly think this cunning plan all the way through, and now here both schools are, surrounded by more questions about their programs' futures than they'd have imagined just two weeks ago.

Posted on: December 19, 2010 2:17 pm
 

Leach-to-Maryland speculation picks up steam

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.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com