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Maryland Willing To Pay Up To $3.5 Million For New Football Coach, According To Report

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.