Tag:Ralph Friedgen
Posted on: December 14, 2010 10:55 am

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We'll forgive you if you want to take this Washington Post report concerning the vacant Vanderbilt head coaching position with enough salt to make the Morton girl jealous, what with their last effort -- you know, the one that said the Commodores only had to iron out the details before Gus Malzahn took the job -- not exactly standing as a beacon of journalism.

All the same, there's no doubt a reporter writing under a blog named "Terrapins Insider" has better sources on the Maryland end than the Vandy end, and so it's best to pay attention when he writes this:

James Franklin , Maryland’s offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, is expected to become the next head football coach at Vanderbilt, according to two sources close to Franklin with knowledge of the negotiations.

Contract details are being negotiated today, and barring an unforeseen road block, Franklin could be announced as Vanderbilt’s head coach today or tomorrow.
This would make a lot of sense for Vandy: Franklin was by all accounts their second choice all along, and if he's not bothered by the school's preference for Malzahn -- and why would he, given that he can now demand a salary at least in the same ballpark as the 'Dores blockbuster offer to Malzahn, reportedly in the neighborhood of a guaranteed $15 million over five years -- there's no reason to start the search over again elsewhere.

It also makes a lot of sense for Franklin, who no doubt had little interest in remaining behind Ralph Friedgen for another year in College Park and will be bagging a hefty raise in the process. Put both sides together, and there's no reason to think the WaPo is crying wolf at us again.

Franklin's departure also probably signals the end of the coach-in-waiting trend for good; with two high-profile desertions out of the coaching on-deck circle this week coming on the heels of last offseason's acrimonious Bobby Bowden departure and the NCAA's restrictions on the coach-in-waiting's recruiting efforts, at this point the potential boost to staff continuity doesn't appear to be worth the headaches that come with it.

Posted on: December 7, 2010 11:13 am

Scooters claim another Maryland player

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this season there was a trend that saw college football players say dumb things on Twitter followed by those players and their teammates being told by their head coaches to stay off of Twitter.  It made sense because you can't say anything stupid on Twitter if you're not on Twitter.  It's a model that Ralph Friedgen may want to follow at Maryland, though it's not Twitter he should be keeping his players off of.

It's scooters.

In October freshman offensive lineman Pete DeSouza broke both of his legs in a scooter accident, ending his season early. Now freshman cornerback Dexter McDougle will miss the Military Bowl against East Carolina after breaking his clavicle in what was described as a "single scooter accident on campus." 

Though some conspiracy theorists believe there was a second scooter, located on a grassy knoll.

Fellow Terrapin Isiah Ross was driving the scooter at the time of the accident, but escaped without injury.  The duo apparently hit a bump in the road that caused Ross to lose control of the scooter, causing the injury to McDougle and sent him to the hospital where he was treated and released.

McDougle played in 11 games for the Terps this season with 22 tackles and 3 pass break ups.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 4:00 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 4:06 pm

MD's Friedgen: From hot seat to trophy case

Posted by Chip Patterson

Back in August, I was discussing the upcoming ACC season on a radio program in North Carolina.  We were making both humorous and serious predictions when the host looked me in the eye and said, "Ralph Friedgen will not be the coach of the Maryland Terrapins in 2011."  I wholeheartedly agreed.  After all, he barely survived the axe in 2009 after a 2-10 season and did not make have a lot of drastic changes in the 2010 squad.  

Boy were we wrong.

On Tuesday, Friedgen was named the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Media Association.  While Maryland has not been the subject of national rankings or widespread public discussion, they have put together a truly historic season.  The six-win turnaround to 8-4 in 2010 is the second best win improvement in FBS history.  If the Terps win their bowl game, they will be the first team in ACC history to go from two or fewer wins one season to nine the next.  

Friedgen will tell you himself the credit belongs to the players, and one player I did not count on in August got his due recognition on Tuesday as well.  Freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien was named ACC Rookie of the Year as well, collecting 54 of 61 possible first place votes.  His 21 touchdowns ranks for second place in school history, and his 2,257 yards passing are sixth all-time among ACC freshman.  

Both Friedgen and O'Brien entered the season with low expectations, and in some cases expectations to fail.  But together, along with the rest of the 2010 Maryland team, they ascended to the top of the conference.  While they fell one game short of the ACC Atlantic Division title, at least their coach and quarterback will get a little hardware in Charlotte on Friday.  After pulling off that kind of turnaround, it is well deserved.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 12:40 pm

Robinson Coach of the Year finalists announced

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The eight announced finalists for the 2010 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award (as given out by the Football Writers Association of America) didn't offer much in the way of surprise; six of the nominees come from the current top seven teams in the BCS standings and all eight coach for teams in the BCS top ten. They are, from highest-ranked to lowest:

Chip Kelly, Oregon
Gene Chizik, Auburn
Gary Patterson, TCU
Chris Peterson, Boise State
Jim Harbaugh, Stanford
Bret Bielema, Wisconsin
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

A victory over Alabama (and the lack of further allegations against Cam Newton ) would probably make Chizik the front-runner by a nose over Kelly, since his team entered this season with lower expectations and a far worse record in 2009. But Kelly's mastery of his light-speed spread-option offense and dominating season would make him a fine choice, as would any of the finalists. The FWAA can't go wrong.

If there's anything to complain about here, it's that all eight choices follow the "good or great team becomes or stays great" model. But there's something to be said about taking a mediocre or even bad program to (or back to) respectability. Here's three coaches who also deserve some recognition for their work in 2010:

Mario Cristobal, FIU. It's easy to forget just how miserable the Golden Panthers' program was when Cristobal arrived in 2007, with FIIU fresh off an 0-12 season, the infamous Orange Bowl brawl with Miami , and NCAA sanctions. Three seasons later FIU, picked to finish eighth in their conference, will win the Sun Belt and play in their first-ever bowl game if they can hold serve at home against Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee State to end the season.

Ralph Friedgen, Maryland . The only reason the Fridge is even still employed by the Terps is because the school couldn't afford his buyout at the end of 2009, and it was no surprise when Friedgen's team was pegged for dead last in the ACC Atlantic this offseason. Instead of tuning out their supposedly lame-duck coach, though, the Terps have surged back to a 7-4 season with a big win vs. rivals Navy and road victories at Virginia and bowl-bound Boston College , putting them in contention for the division title as recently as last week.

Mike Haywood, Miami (Ohio) . It's hard to believe that the 7-4 Redhawks could win the MAC East when you consider how supremely hopeless they were in 2009, when they failed to score a single point until their third game and finished 1-11. In the MAC. But Miami served notice in a valiant season-opening effort against Florida that Haywood had made the absolute most of the offseason, and if they can claim an eighth win they'll have their most victories since 2004.

Posted on: September 22, 2010 4:17 pm

Maryland loses starting LT for the season

Posted by Chip Patterson

Maryland has been struggling with injuries so far in the 2010 season, and news got even worse for Terps fans this week finding out that starting left tackle Justin Gilbert is out for the season with a torn ACL.  Head coach Ralph Friedgen addressed the situation on Tuesday evening.

"Justin was really playing very well for us. We were very pleased with him," Friedgen said. "My major concern with losing an offensive lineman was being forced to play a redshirt freshman again."
This is a huge blow to an offensive line that gave up eight sacks against West Virginia, and has yet to really show improvement from last season's struggles.  One of the biggest problems with the Maryland offensive line in 2009 was inexperience, with players like Gilbert having to start immediately following their redshirt season.  One of the only highlights from last year's front line, Bruce Campbell, left early and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in April.

Maryland also has been dealing with injury issues at the quarterback position.  Starting quarterback Jamarr Robinson has a sore throwing shoulder, and his backup Danny O'Brien has a nagging ankle injury.  Friedgen has used both quarterbacks so far this season, and will likely be forced to continue to do so with third-string quarterback C.J. Brown out for the season with a broken collarbone.

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