Maryland’s new football coach shouldn’t be hired by an apparel company

December 20, 2010 | Drew Forrester

the shots on this hire, Maryland would be doing themselves an injustice by just employing Mike Leach because a guy who produces shirts and football equipment for a living says to do it.

I’m not Kevin Anderson, but if I was, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with having this coaching hire forced down my throat by one guy with a checkbook.

There ARE other candidates across the country who COULD be good hires for the Maryland football program. Are those candidates — Tyrone Willingham is a name plenty of folks have thrown around over the last 72 hours, just to name one — at all a better fit than Mike Leach? Delaware’s K.C. Keeler is a young, offensive-minded coach who is considered by many to be a “next man up” kind of coach…meaning he’s next in line for a good ACC job the way Mike London of Richmond was when Virginia came calling a year ago.

I don’t know if Willingham, Keeler or any other name tossed into the mix is better than Leach. That’s not for me to decide. I know enough about Mike Leach to say he’s a highly qualified candidate who would also bring with him a rather lengthy “trail” of controversies — some small, some more meaningful. But he’s well known as a man with an eye for crafting a dynamic offense and that could translate into a more exciting brand of football at College Park — and that, we all assume, would translate into more money for the program via increased ticket sales and the like.

But it certainly bears repeating that Maryland shouldn’t just hire Mike Leach because the guy who runs the apparel company that outfits the schools’ athletic programs says he’s the guy to hire. If that’s the case, make the apparel guy the A.D. and let Kevin Anderson go peddle athletic wear as his subordinate.

If Mike Leach is the right guy, hire him.

If someone else is the right guy but you’re afraid to piss off the apparel magnate, you better dust off your boxing gloves and get ready to fight him on it.

Kevin Anderson, be warned:

You botched the firing of the former coach.

Don’t botch the hiring of the new one.