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It looks like Gary Crowton is indeed leaving LSU to become Maryland's new offensive coordinator. Crowton has accepted the position, according to a report by TigersSportsDigest.com. The report was also confirmed by Randy Rosetta of the Baton Rouge Advocate.
Crowton has been the offensive coordinator at LSU since 2007. He started out well, but has come under fire recently for LSU's inability to rank highly in many key offensive categories. Poor quarterback play may have been a factor, but it did seem like his time at LSU was coming to an end. He also has been a head coach at BYU and Louisiana Tech, where he was known for running a high-scoring offense.
It is not immediately clear the value of Crowton's new contract, but he said on Wednesday that Maryland had offered him a three-year contract for $500,000 a year. He was heading into his final year of his contract at LSU, which would have paid him $500,000.
Crowton will replace James Franklin, who left the program to become the head coach at Vanderbilt.
New Maryland football coach Randy Edsall has filled out much of his staff, but he still has not found an offensive coordinator. However, that could change soon. Gary Crowton admitted he is considering leaving LSU to accept a position as Maryland's offensive coordinator, according to a report in the Shreveport Times.
Crowton told the paper that Maryland has offered him a three-year contract worth about $500,000 a year during an interview on Wednesday. He agreed to the interview in part because of the uncertainty surrounding Les Miles' future as LSU's head coach. Miles eventually elected to stay with LSU instead of go to become Michigan's new head coach, but Crowton may still go to Maryland because of the financial benefit. Crowton has one year left on his current contract, which will also pay him $500,000.
Crowton told the paper that he has not yet made a decision and will sit down with his family to weigh the merits of moving to Maryland.
Crowton was a hot rising coordinator a few years ago, but has come under fire in recent years. LSU's offense has ranked near the bottom in the nation in both of the last two years, though that may have a lot to do with poor quarterback play. Miles seem to be vague about whether he would even want Crowton back next year, but Crowton insisted that he is not being pushed out.
SB Nation's Maryland blog Testudo Times writes that this could be a significant hire because it shows that Maryland is willing to spend to woo coaches away from even the best football schools.
Paying more for an offensive coordinator than LSU is big-time. Really, really big-time. In fact, it's so big-time that it makes me doubt it. This just feeds back into #1. Either this is a complete crock, he's massively exaggerating, or Kevin Anderson is making a serious commitment to Randy Edsall, one bigger than anyone imagined.
Now that Randy Edsall is settled in as Maryland's new head football coach, he has added four new assistant coaches to help him lead the Terrapins next season.
Greg Gattuso, Lyndon Johnson, David Walker and Andrew Wilson will be on the sidelines this season.
Gattuso spent the last six seasons at Pittsburgh and will become the defensive line coach. Johnson, who worked under Edsall at Connecticut, will run special teams and outside linebackers. Walker, who like Gattuso also coached at Pittsburgh, will oversee the running backs, while Wilson will join Esdall and Johnson from UConn and serve as the Terps' strength and conditioning coach.
Not all of Edsall's staff is new. Defensive coordinator Don Brown and wide receivers coach Lee Hull will hold over from Ralph Friedgen's staff.
Because it's Maryland, finances will always be newsworthy, especially when it comes to finding its new football coach. Randy Edsall of Connecticut, of course, ended up being the one who took the job, but what kind of contract would he receive? Apparently, he will get a five-year contract, according to Steve Yanda of the Washington Post.
Maryland football coach Randy Edsall is expected to sign a five-year deal with the school, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said Tuesday.
That means that Edsall will be under contract for exactly as long as the man that hired him. Athletic director Kevin Anderson signed a five-year contract back in October.
It's not yet clear how much Edsall will earn, because the details are still being worked out. However, in his press conference on Monday, Anderson said that Edsall will make roughly as much as outgoing coach Ralph Friedgen. That would represent a step up for Edsall on the pay grade, as he only made around $1 million at Connecticut last year.
While Maryland fans were a bit lukewarm on the program's decision to hire Randy Edsall to be its next football coach, things would have gotten a lot worse if the decision cost them all of their assistant coaches. Many have already left to go to coach for former offensive coordinator James Franklin at Vanderbilt. Luckily, though, it looks like the most important assistant in the eyes of many is sticking around.
Defensive coordinator Don Brown will reportedly stay with Edsall and the Terps, though perhaps in a different position, according to Steve Yanda of the Washington Post.
Don Brown and Lee Hull will remain members of Maryland's football staff under new coach Randy Edsall, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said Tuesday. It is unclear at this point whether Brown and Hull will retain the same positions they held under former coach Ralph Friedgen or whether they will be re-assigned.
Brown has served as Maryland's defensive coordinator the past two seasons. Hull has been Maryland's wide receivers coach for the past three seasons.
Brown was seen as the underrated key to Maryland's success last season, spurring an improved performance from the defense. Hull, meanwhile, was likely the guy that helped spur Torrey Smith to new heights this year. SB Nation D.C.'s Jordan Ruby noted the importance of keeping Brown here.
Edsall has to do everything he can to keep defensive coordinator Don Brown. Even though they are both defensive guys who run different schemes, that players love Brown and he will be a tremendous advantage in recruiting players on that side of the ball. Unfortunately, Brown has developed a bit of a wandering eye according to some reports. Edsall has reportedly expressed interest in retaining him, so it seems totally up to Brown. But I know a lot of fans and players would be a lot more comfortable if he stuck around.
Edsall is bringing two of his Connecticut assistants over with him, including his offensive coordinator.
Randy Edsall was formally introduced as the new Maryland football coach in a press conference earlier Monday, and the theme was very easy to spot. For those wondering why athletic director Kevin Anderson hired Edsall instead of a more high-profile candidate like Mike Leach, there was a clear answer from both men. Edsall simply wanted to be at Maryland more than any other coaching candidate.
"Randy [said] that Maryland's head football job was his 'dream job,'" Anderson said. "In his career of being a coach, Randy wanted to be the head coach at the University of Maryland. There was no one that came forward and said 'I wanted to be the head football coach at Maryland, and that was my dream job,' other than Randy Edsall."
"This is a dream job for me. This is the dream job," Edsall said. "It's not every time in your life that you get to go and have an opportunity to do something you really wanted to do once you entered the career field that you chose."
Anderson referred repeatedly to Edsall's credentials, both at Connecticut and elsewhere. Noting that he has experience taking a program or a team from the ground up, Anderson cited several facts to prove his point. He pointed to Edsall's presence with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in the mid-90s, as well as his time at Connecticut.
"Nobody in the history of football has taken a I-AA team to I-A and gone to a BCS Bowl Game in seven years," Anderson said, noting Connecticut's presence in this year's Fiesta Bowl. "Think about it. This man is a builder, a winner and a champion."
Edsall reaffirmed the desire to win at all costs.
"I came here to win championships. That's why I came here. I'm a coach, and I want to win at the highest level. If we're going to put in the effort and time we do as coaches and these young men do as student athletes, every year, our goal is the ACC championship. We're going to shoot for that every year. Otherwise, there's no sense in being here."
Anderson confirmed that Leach did come in for an interview, and that he was the only other coaching candidate willing to do that. When asked what happened with Leach that triggered his decision to offer the coaching job to someone else, Anderson said that he had a "wonderful experience" with Leach, but he wanted to wait for "more opportunities."
"I had a wonderful experience with Coach Leach, but I believed there were other opps that I wanted to pursue, and I pursued them," Anderson said. "Fortunately, we waited long enough for Randy to become part of our pool."
When asked what he would say to Maryland fans that may be upset at the hire, Anderson said, simply, "we got a damn good football coach."
Edsell, meanwhile, stressed the importance of building up the fan base beyond the on-field results. He sported a Maryland cap for the beginning of his remarks, but then took it off once he realized he had asked his players to take off their hats on Sunday in his introductory meeting with them. He said he wanted to embark on a "grassroots effort" to build up the fan base, noting his success doing so at Connecticut.
"Winning is a big part of it, but we didn't have a fan base at UCONN. We created a fan base. You go out and you become visible. You go out and you speak. You get out there and spread the word. I look forward to working with all the people here to get that message out and to be out in the community."
In case you were wondering, Anderson mostly dodged the question over whether he was surprised by the fan reaction to the hire. He did say that it was his decision alone, and did thank Ralph Friedgen for his work to kick off the press conference, saying he "truly laid the foundation" for the future of the program.
Edsall, meanwhile, did his best to show his excitement about being the program's next head coach. He was asked about the future of Maryland's series with teams like West Virginia and Navy and whether there might be a game scheduled with Penn State. In response, he affirmed one thing very clearly: they will only accept home and home games.
"We're the University of Maryland. We don't play two for ones."
In light of Maryland officially announcing that Randy Edsall will be its next football coach, it's worth wondering just what exactly happened to former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, the reported front-runner for the position. All indications are that the Maryland brass just felt Leach was too big of a risk, considering the way he went out at Texas Tech.
But we still hadn't heard from Leach himself, until now. On his Sirius XM show on Monday, Leach said that Maryland never contacted him after he came for an in-person interview last Thursday. Via Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, who was a guest on Leach's show.
Leach said he has not heard anything from Maryland since leaving College Park. His interview -- it was his second with the school -- ended Thursday and the school hired Connecticut coach Randy Edsall on Sunday.
"I don't really have much comment on the process or any of that. I think Maryland is a good job and I think my record speaks for itself over 10 years. Clearly no one's got a graduation that even approaches 80 percent, which is what we had at Tech," Leach said.
Leach said he thought the interview went well, but that you never know in these situations because it's tough to figure out what everyone is thinking. Clearly, he sounds like a person upset he didn't get the job, but life will go on for him and for Maryland.
It's now official. Randy Edsall, who has been the coach of Connecticut for the past 12 years, is Maryland's new football coach. The school just sent out a press release announcing the news. A press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday.
Edsell emerged as a candidate on Sunday, just hours after his Huskies lost 48-20 to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. He compiled a 74-70 record in 12 seasons on the job, bringing the program to a Division I level. His teams have shared the Big East crown twice. However, his record is not as good as Ralph Friedgen's, the man he is replacing, and he has been in an inferior conference.
Edsall flew in for an interview on Sunday and was named the team's coach shortly thereafter. The team was informed of the decision at around 6 p.m. Sunday, after which defensive back Cameron Chism tweeted the news.
Edsall beats out former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach for the position. Leach emerged as an early favorite for the position, but the program was unwilling to gamble on his unpredictability.
All reports indicate that Randy Edsall will be the new Maryland football coach. The Connecticut head man flew in for an interview on Sunday night at 4 p.m., and a team meeting with athletic director Kevin Anderson was scheduled for 6 p.m. Now, there might be some confirmation that Edsall indeed is the team's next coach, as one of the Maryland players has put out a Twitter message announcing the news.
Cornerback Cameron Chism, who surely was part of the meeting, posted this message a few minutes ago. His account is protected, but it was retweeted by several others.
Obviously, nothing is official until Maryland announces the news, and it is just one tweet that could have theoretically come from anywhere, but the timing makes sense, considering that Chism was likely in that meeting.
As for Mike Leach, the assumption was that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank would go to bat for him, but that apparently isn't the case. Darren Rovell of CNBC notes that Plank wasn't willing to put his reputation on the line for Leach, considering Leach's unpredictability. Rovell also reports that former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez was indeed a candidate for the position.
Maryland is expected to formally announce that current Connecticut coach Randy Edsall will be hired to be the program's next football coach on Monday, according to multiple reports. Edsall still must go through the interview process on Sunday night, but all signs are pointing to him replacing Ralph Friedgen.
Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post is reporting that barring "any unforseen developments," the job in Edsall's.
Updates: Randy Edsall interviewing today. Barring any unforseen developments, he will be named Maryland's new football coach tomorrow.
Edsall will therefore beat out Mike Leach, the former Texas Tech coach that emerged as the favorite as soon as Friedgen was fired. Leach visited campus on Thursday and went through the interview process, and his connection to Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank caused many to vault him up the list. However, according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, Maryland hasn't been in touch with Leach since the visit on Thursday.
Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has not been contacted by Maryland in the past three-and-a-half days. Meanwhile, Edsall is there now.
So why didn't the Terps just give Leach the job? According to Prisbell, the search committee members were worried about the way Leach went out at Texas Tech and didn't want to rock the boat.
Source, on Leach: Maryland "got cold feet...They wanted to make the conservative, safe, non-confrontational hire. That's the bottom line."
If so, that's surprising, considering Friedgen's success. Friedgen delivered a strong record to College Park, but there was a distinct lack of buzz by the end of his tenure. Hiring Leach may have solved that. Hiring Edsall, at first glance, does not seem to do so, even if Edsall may be a talented coach.
Many reports indicate that Randy Edsall of Connecticut is all set to become Maryland's next football coach, but that isn't necessarily the case. As it turns out, the Terps are merely putting Edsall through the interview process Sunday night before making their ultimate decision on Monday, according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun.
Maryland will name a new head football coach on Monday, a source familiar with the process said.
The announcement of the new coach will come after Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall -- who has emerged as a serious contender -- is interviewed by top Maryland officials.
Two other coaches went through the same process Edsall is expected to go through, according to Barker. One is Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who remains a candidate for the position according to Barker's source. The other was not identified and declined the position anyway.
Quite honestly, if Leach had interviewed back on Thursday and was on campus, I feel that we would've heard of an offer by this point. After all, the self-imposed deadline of Jan. 4 is just days away. And by the way, Edsall's not a "major setback" kind of guy.
The Maryland Terrapins appear to be closing in on hiring a new head coach, and it isn't Mike Leach. Connecticut coach Randy Edsall is reportedly the leading candidate to take the position after meeting with some members of the search committee on Sunday.
Chick Hernandez of CSN Washington is reporting that it's close to a done deal.
UCONN HC Randy Edsall is in Maryland. Meeting with some members of search committee. Barring major setback, look for him to be New HC at Maryland.
Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post is reporting that Edsall is merely the "leading candidate" for the position right now, and that Leach's candidacy has faded in the past 48 hours, in large part due to concerns about his past.
Leach, 49, had an 84-43 record in 10 seasons at Texas Tech, including 10 bowl appearances and an 11-2 finish in 2008. His prolific "Air Raid" offense made for high-scoring games and an exciting brand of football, something that could arouse a diminished fan base at Maryland.
But throughout the search process, there has been a faction at Maryland that has opposed Leach's hiring, citing concerns about certain aspects of his recent history, several sources close to the athletic department said.
Edsall, meanwhile, compiled a 74-70 record in 12 seasons at Connecticut, leading the Huskies to two Big East titles, including this year. The Huskies played in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night, losing 48-20.
If you've been following along with the Maryland coaching search as closely as Testudo Times has, then you know that there are at least two strong candidates out there who could be close to securing the job in the near future.
Have heard from some that would likely be on Leach's staff at Maryland that Malzahn is close to landing it if he hasn't already.
I've learned Mike Leach was on U of MD campus today, and he's scheduled to meet with the search committee tomorrow
We heard earlier from Hernandez that Malzahn had already met with Maryland officials, but Level is taking it one step further with the Auburn offensive coordinator.
Either would be the sexy type pick that Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson seems to be targeting to replace departing coach Ralph Friedgen.
We also heard today from Gene Wang of the Washington Post that Ken Nuimatalolo, the current coach of the Navy Midshipmen who was the quarterback at Hawaii for its first ever Bowl game in 1989, is not a candidate for Maryland's coaching position.
SMU coach June Jones has no plans to leave for Maryland.
Jones says he spoke by phone with a search firm, but had no discussions with school officials from Maryland. He has removed his name from consideration for that job, which is open after the Terrapins fired coach Ralph Friedgen last week.
SMU players said Wednesday that Jones told them in a meeting about being contacted by Maryland representatives and his commitment to stay at SMU.
With that, it looks like Maryland could turn their attention to their other candidates such as Mike Leach or Gus Malzahn. This coaching search will certainly be an interesting one, as the Terps seem obligated to the get the biggest name possible to justify the firing of coach Ralph Friedgen. Will Mike Leach provide that sizzle? Can Malzahn help put the butts in the seats? That remains to be seen, but as of now, June Jones looks like he won't be the one to take on that challenge.
Maryland appears to be very serious about wanting to make a big splash with their new football coach. After making the decision to fire Ralph Friedgen, the Terps have chased after former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, among other big names.
The bigger question, though, is whether Maryland is willing to pay a premium for a new head coach. According to this report in the Dallas Morning News, they may be. The report indicates that Maryland reached out to SMU coach June Jones, the former coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Jones turned them down, but not after turning down a lot of money.
Jones informed SMU athletic director Steve Orsini and president R. Gerald Turner this morning that he wanted to stay at SMU, despite Maryland's willingness to pay, with incentives, around $3.5 million, according to two sources close to the SMU program, an eye-popping increase from the $2 million Jones already makes annually at SMU.
Testudo Times writes that we should take this report with a grain of salt, since it's coming from SMU sources and because Jones could be trying to use it as leverage to get more money from SMU, but it's still a striking figure. Maybe it's why Twitter rumors surfaced yesterday that Rich Rodriguez, the former Michigan coach, is in the running along with Leach.
As for actual candidates, CSN's Chick Hernandez is reporting that the Terps have met with Jones, Leach and Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who paved the way for James Franklin's departure for Vanderbilt by turning that job down.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson spoke in front of reporters today in part to announce that Ralph Friedgen's tenure as Maryland's football coach is over, but also in part to squash rumors that were out there about the team's future. The biggest one out there is that former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was set to take over the program.
Anderson said that wasn't the case, stressing that the program hasn't even organized a search committee to begin contacting prospective candidates. However, he did let slip that Leach is a candidate, saying that he is on a list that he will recommend to the search committee. When asked to name any other names on the list, Anderson declined to elaborate.
The fact that he would signal Leach out is interesting, but a given, considering all the reports out there. There's a possibility that a non-search committee member reached out to Leach through back channels, allowing Maryland to say that they never talked to Leach. Or, Anderson is telling the truth, and the Leach report came out of nowhere. Only time will tell which answer is correct.
All signs point to former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach becoming the next head coach at Maryland after a report over the weekend. However, it's worth noting that Leach himself says he hasn't spoken to Maryland yet.
In a radio interview earlier Monday, Leach said that while he "would talk to Maryland" about their eventual head coaching vacancy, he hasn't yet spoken to anyone at the university.Via Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun:
Leach said he hasn't spoken with Maryland, at least not yet. "A lot of rumors going around. I haven't talked to anybody at Maryland."
Leach said he hasn't talked to Maryland yet because he feels it "wouldn't be appropriate" to outgoing coach Ralph Friedgen, who has not officially been fired from the program yet. He said he's received a lot of messages asking him about his future, but has yet to answer them. He also admitted that he wants to get back into coaching, hence the comments about how he would talk to Maryland when appropriate.
Despite these comments, all signs seem to point to Leach being the program's next head coach. It just make take a little longer than expected.
Maryland AD Kevin Anderson has announced that he will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. to discuss the future of the football program, according to Steve Yanda at the Washington Post's Terrapins Insider.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson will hold a press conference Monday at 3 p.m. "to discuss the football program," according to a release issued by the athletic department.
Football Coach Ralph Friedgen has been asked to accept a buyout, though Friedgen has told players to expect him to coach in the Military Bowl on Dec. 29. It is unclear at this point whether Friedgen has agreed to a buyout. He had not done so as of Sunday night.
We don't know whether this press conference is to announce the buying out of Ralph Friedgen, or announce the presumptive hiring of Mike Leach. Hopefully it will be some combination of both. The university has not announced that Leach will definitely be taking over as football coach, but there are reports out there that Leach is already making recruiting calls.
Maryland has a new head football coach, according to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com:
Mike Leach is going to be the next head coach at Maryland, a key Big 12 source told Orangebloods.com.
When Maryland coach-in-waiting James Franklin took the Vanderbilt job last week, it apparently spelled the end for current Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen in the mind of new Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, my source said.
But when Maryland AD Kevin Anderson was asked about Friedgen's future last week, he told reporters, "Next week, everyone will understand where we're going."
The news of Leach's hire, along with Friedgen's buyout of his contract, is a stunning turn of events for the Maryland football program. When Friedgen led his Terps to an 8-4 record (a 6 game improvement over the previous year), it was believed he would be able to play out the last year of his contract, which ended in 2011.
But new athletic director Kevin Anderson apparently had other plans.
Leach's teams went 84-43 over ten seasons, with his 84 wins being the most by a coach in school history. The Red Raiders were a team that were consistently ranked over the last several seasons and were always in the mix for a Big 12 championship. He will bring his experience to a Maryland club that went 8-4 this season, led by freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien.
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