Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at
About ten years ago, the University of Maryland kicked off a decade of football performance that was the most prolific in the school’s history. About one year ago, the school kicked off a decade which has the potential to be one of its worst.
Despite the recent signing of five-star recruit Stefon Diggs, Coach Randy Edsall has successfully alienated a stunning number of players, leading 25 to leave the program. Most prominently of those is former ACC rookie of the year, QB Danny O’Brien. O’Brien never seemed to fit in Edsall’s system: after a promising season-opening victory over a depleted Miami team, O’Brien eventually lost his job to C.J. Brown. It seemed evident O’Brien would depart at season’s end to play elsewhere. Of course, this upset Edsall:
“I’m disappointed by Danny’s decision,” Edsall said in a statement. “Danny told me that he’s not committed to our program, that he’s not ‘all in.’ I want what’s best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well.”
Yet, that wasn’t enough for Edsall or the University: not only did they restrict O’Brien (and two others) from transferring to schools on the UMD schedule, they also forbid them from attending Vanderbilt, which just so happens to be enjoying a nice run of success under former UMD coach-in-waiting James Franklin. One might see some glimmer of rationality here, except for the fact the Terps will welcome three former New Mexico transfers who are hoping to play with their ex-coach (and new UMD offensive coordinator), Mike Locksley.
What’s that thing about people in glass houses not throwing stones? I think SI’s Michael Rosenberg summed it up best:
My media colleagues seem to be split in their opinions of Maryland football coach Randy Edsall. One camp thinks Edsall is a self-serving, hypocritical turd. The other camp thinks he is a shameless, ruthless disgrace to his profession.
To borrow a phrase from Bill Simmons, “Yep, this is my college football coach.”
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at
The moment I saw Mark Turgeon’s name on Sunday afternoon, I was hit with the sinking feeling that he was going to be the man that landed the head basketball coaching position at the University of Maryland. After a day full of rumors, they made it official last night. If what was reported over the weekend has any truth to it, Turgeon was the school’s fifth choice to replace the legendary Gary Williams. I think it’s safe to say with this move, UMD athletic director Kevin Anderson has pushed all of his chips to the center of table.
In a span of less than a year, Anderson has replaced two of the most successful coaches in the history of Maryland athletics: Ralph Friedgen and Gary Williams. At the onset, Anderson went after some splashy names: Mike Leach, Sean Miller, Jay Wright, and a whole host of others. Initial speculation regarding both positions was highly encouraging, yet ultimately disappointing. Neither Randy Edsall or Turgeon are the ostentatious names fans have been clamoring for as an already-dwindling fan base has expressed a great deal of skepticism with each of these hires.
Critics of the University think the fans and its boosters are delusional for believing the school could attract top-notch coaching talent. But those declarations belie the fact that both of Anderson’s hires have been intensely followed and heavily-scrutinized by the national press (how much of this is Anderson’s doing remains unseen). So this means either one of two things: 1) Anderson knew he had no shot at the big name hires, but felt that he had to go after them anyway to appease boosters and benefit from the low expectations set by striking out, or 2) he really has no idea what he’s doing.
The bottom line is this: Anderson made two very safe, if uninspired selections in the out-of-towners Edsall and Turgeon. While they may not have been his first choice, they’ll be the ones who’ll define his legacy at the school for better or worse. Three years from now, we very well could be going through this same process, but with a new AD and much different expectations.
Friday, May 6th, 2011 at
I think everyone that attended the University of Maryland has one personal encounter or at least one legendary bar story about Gary Williams. Upon the conclusion of his legendary career, here’s mine: Read the rest of this entry