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Ralph Friedgen's Dismissal Makes History And Not The Good Kind


Ralph Friedgen's tenth season as Maryland head coach ended in a way that no one could have imagined. Despite leading the resurgent Terps to a 8-4 record and winning ACC Coach of the Year honors, the university asked Friedgen to accept a buyout and essentially forced him out. If things couldn't get any more surreal, Friedgen is the first BCS conference football coach to be fired after winning coach of the year honors.

Via Patrick Stevens, Friedgen is the first ever head coach to be fired after earning such distinctions. Fourteen other coaches have not returned after winning a coaching award, but none were fired. Eight left to take other college coaching jobs, three took a NFL head coaching job, one retired, one became an athletic director and one became a bank executive (that is not a typo).

What is interesting about the list is that the ACC is the most represented. The coaches in question are Maryland's Jim Tatum, Wake Forest's Paul Amen, Clemson's Charley Pell, Duke's Steve Spurrier and Wake Forest's Bill Dooley.

Friedgen turned around his alma mater's football team, winning 31 games in his first three seasons and leading them to seven bowl apperances. He might coach in the Military Bowl, but there is neither a witty comeback nor a serious explanation that can put Friedgen's firing into words. Well, besides the words that precede this sentence.