Maryland hires Randy Edsall

By Ben Linton

After firing Ralph Friedgen, the Maryland Terrapins have hired Connecticut Coach Randy Edsall to take the program in a new direction. The announcement comes a day after Edsall’s Huskies lost in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma. At age 52, Edsall led the Huskies from 1-AA to 1-A competition, winning two conference championships and accumulating a 74-70 total record in 12 seasons.

At first hearing of this news, I was disappointed. After Maryland fired Friedgen, citing decreases in ticket sales as a main reason for letting him go, how could a man that most Terp fans know nothing about create a buzz and excitement around the program and fill seats that Friedgen couldn’t? Who is to say that ticket sales would have actually increased next season if Friedgen had returned, with the Terps coming off a 9-4 season and the Fridge winning ACC Coach of the Year? I do not disagree with the hire, but I disagree with letting Friedgen go before his contract expired. Especially for everything the Fridge did for the program, he should have been granted the opportunity to stay as long as he wanted.

However, Maryland did hire a good coach to replace Friedgen. Edsall and Friedgen have many similarities: they both put their respective programs on the map and finished with similar records. Edsall a disciplined and defensive-minded coach, a very different candidate from other names mentioned as candidates such as Mike Leach. He is a safe hire, with no risks involved like with Leach. Edsall to me is a younger version of Friedgen, but he will need to prove himself to the fan base by winning before the seats get filled at Byrd Stadium. It will be a very interesting season in College Park next year to see how his team performs.

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January 2011

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