We covered the 2010 Military Bowl at RFK Stadium, in which Maryland beat East Carolina in what everyone knew would be Ralph Friedgen's final game in charge of the Terps' football program.
Here was the closest Friedgen came in his postgame press conference to taking a shot at Athletic Director Kevin Anderson:
"People are concerned about my legacy, and my legacy is what it is - [a record of] 75-50. I gave it the best I had for 10 years, and obviously that's not good enough right now, and that's what hurts. I leave the job a lot better than [it was] when I got it, so if someone else can come in and do better, my hat's off to them."
And that was more or less the last we heard from Friedgen. Until Tuesday.
At around noon Tuesday, Friedgen emailed a statement around to various members of the media, including Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times, who has the whole thing at his D1scourse blog.
Most of it is a rundown of the academic and athletic accomplishments of Friedgen's teams, as well as a re-telling of the amount of time the UMD alum and his wife Gloria (who still works at Maryland's School of Public Health) put in to supporting the team. And then there's the last sentence.
We would appreciate the current administration looking forward to the future and dedicating their energies to continue to forge ahead as a world class University and successful football program without demeaning the accomplishments of those who came before.
OK, then. It's hard to know what, specifically, Friedgen is reacting to here. Could it have been Anderson's appearance on The Junkies, in which he denied firing Friedgen?
I don't think Friedgen was treated well at the end, but the truth is that he was fortunate to survive his own 2-10 season in 2009. I feel badly for a guy who gave 10 years to his alma mater and was fired, but that's the nature of the coaching business. I had hoped that Friedgen would find his way back to the sidelines, if that was his wish, but there was a part of me who hoped he would enjoy what he accomplished and enjoy a well-deserved retirement like Gary Williams apparently has.
Ralph, it's time to listen to the advice you offered Maryland.
It's time to move on.
Unfortunately, unless Friedgen clarifies himself or more behind-the-scenes stuff comes out, this is likely the impresson that most will be left with.