Edsall Must Change On Field And Off In Maryland Future

December 01, 2011 | Glenn Clark


As Drew Forrester has said here at WNST.net, Randy Edsall is going to be the football coach at the University of Maryland in 2012.

The #FIREEDSALL trend on Twitter is certainly alive and John Feinstein absolutely shredded the coach this week in the Washington Post, but neither will have an effect on his job status.

Despite a 2-10 record in Edsall’s first season with the Terrapins, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has every intention to stick with the man he hired after firing 10 year head coach and Maryland alum Ralph Friedgen nearly a year ago.

He’ll be doing that for a few reasons.

The first of those reasons is because no one is fairly considering how significant a role injuries played in the team’s downfall. The team was decimated by injuries throughout the season, forcing defensive coordinator Todd Bradford to turn to a number of redshirt and even true freshmen throughout the season. Competing for an ACC Championship was a tough task to begin with, but nearly impossible as injuries mounted.

It of course doesn’t forgive the nature of how the team finished with just one win over an opponent at the FBS level (their season opening Labor Day victory over a depleted Miami squad), but it has to be considered.

Another of the reasons why Edsall will return is well known. Maryland is in a LOT of financial trouble at the moment. The athletic department is on the verge of cutting eight varsity teams due to financial issues and has admitted that the football program must generate more money to sustain the 17 programs that will remain. With Edsall only one year into a six year deal worth $12 million, Maryland does not have the financial ability to get out from under such a costly deal.

The notion that Under Armour CEO/Maryland alum Kevin Plank could pony up the $10 million necessary to buy out Edsall is preposterous. Plank has become one of the most successful businessmen on the face of the planet buy making good decisions. Giving away $10 million wouldn’t qualify as such a thing.

(Just to inject here. There have been some rumors that Edsall would be a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars opening after the team fired Jack Del Rio. I think we can move on from those rumors about as quickly as they appeared.)

But money and injuries are not the only reasons why Randy Edsall will remain as the school’s football coach. The more significant reason why Edsall will not be let go by the school is because coaches who receive six year deals just aren’t dismissed after one season.

When Anderson hired Edsall away from the University of Connecticut, he absolutely did not tell him “if you leave the Huskies, you’ll have one year to make things work in College Park.”

Had Anderson done such a thing, Edsall’s response would have been something along the lines of “I would never leave UConn. UConn is my dream job.”

It’s safe to say that when hiring Edsall, Anderson made it clear the former Connecticut coach would be able to build his program as necessary, despite the success the team celebrated (nine wins including a Military Bowl victory, ACC Rookie of the Year in QB Danny O’Brien) the season before his arrival.

As Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant pointed out this week, there were reasons to believe Edsall’s reputation in Storrs exceeded his actual accomplishments. During an appearance on “The Reality Check” Wednesday on AM1570 WNST.net, Jacobs referred to something he had written in January just after Edsall’s departure from the area…

There was something unnervingly self-serving in Randy Edsall’s words in the month leading up to his BCS Bowl spanking. As he talked about all the milestones the program has reached since the days of working out of the trailers, Edsall wondered if there were any more notches in the belt he could cut at UConn.

The answer to Edsall’s question about notches in the belt, of course, was there were plenty left. And we’re not talking pie-in-the-sky national title. For starters, how about an outright Big East championship? Or how about getting to a BCS Bowl game where you aren’t automatically penciled in as a hopeless underdog the moment you qualify for it.”

6 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    Heres my reality check. Maryland football has not won a national championship since 1953.I dont think thats going to change anytime soon because Jerry Claiborne,Bobby Ross, and Ralph Friedgen couldnt get it done and Mr Edsall is not the second coming of Jim Tatum.

  2. Dave fromAbingdon Says:

    If the “student”-atheletes want to leave because Coach Edsall is “too tough” then let them go join a powder puff or a longerie league where they will be more comfortable. I had the good fortune of not only meeting Mr. Edsall at the Babe Ruth Birthday bash, but also speaking with him for a good 5 minutes 1-on-1 and came away extremely comfortable that within three years we will have a football program in the elite class of NCAA football. He well knows that the ACC is not UConn style football, not by any stretch of one’s imagination. Give the man time to get rid of the gang members from Frig’s era and recruit his style of player. That is right, I did say gang members. Go look at the team picture of the 2009 squad and the gang-signing. Enough said.

  3. Justafan Says:

    There is a saying that if something is not broke, don’t fix it. UM’s new Administration, from the President, the AD and the football coach “fixed it”, now it is broke. The nucleus of a promising young football team which finished 9-4 in 2010 either bailed out or were forced to leave and are in the process of transferring to other schools. It kind of reminds one of Bob Irsay, doesn’t it?

  4. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Much of what you say is true. However, Edsall’s actions and words speak volumes about his leadership ability more than his coaching ability. And, don’t overlook the ingominious manner in which he communicated his decision to leave UConn to HIS players! This program needs a quality, high profile football coach and unless or until they get one, they will continue to languish in virtual abscurity, except for their ridiculous uniforms! Frankly, if they believe they made a mistake and if there is someone better waiting in the wings, they would be well advised to cut their losses and move on, ’cause they really can’t afford to “reprent at leisure”!

  5. David Says:

    Justafan hit the nail on the head. Anderson gets what he deserves. The football program was not broke and he essentially paid for two football coaches this year (1 to coach at Maryland and 1 to sit at home and laugh out loud). Now, we hear the rest of the Maryland sports program is going to have to suffer for these poor financial and administrative decisions. Sad times and I am ashamed of my alma mater. How soon can we get rid of Anderson?

  6. rich Says:

    @David: the financial situation MD is in can’t be laid solely on Anderson.

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