COLLEGE PARK, MD — Late Tuesday night, Brett McMurphy reported that the University of Maryland football program is going to hire current Alabama Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley to be their next head football coach. Locksley said the following:
Per reports, Locksley has signed a five-year deal with an option for an additional year with Maryland. He will earn roughly $2.5 million annually. Locksley will return to Maryland after a three -year stint with the Crimson Tide with his first year coming as an offensive assistant and his past two seasons as their offensive coordinator. Alabama’s offense ranks second in the country this season, averaging 47.9 points-per-game. They also rank seventh in yards-per-game as well. Locksley was recently awarded the Broyles Award handed out to the nation’s top assistant coach.
Locksley was a no-brainer type hire for a Terrapins program searching for the right man to lead it after the Jordan McNair scandal rocked College Park this summer. Interim Head Coach Matt Canada did a nice job this season keeping the Terps competitivie and the team together in what had to be the most trying football season of these young men’s lives.
But the issue with hanging onto Canada as the potential full-time head coach was that he was present during the entire McNair saga. And while he had nothing to do with the incident or its aftermath, the necessity to remove all parts of the program that were present at the time of the scandal outweighed Canada’s contributions to the program.
Locksley will return to Maryland for his third stint with the program. He started with the Terrapins in 1997 when he was the running backs coach and remained with the program from 1998-2002 in that same role. He had stops at Florida as a running backs coach and running game coordinator as well as a run as offensive coordinator at Illinois from 2005-2008.
Locksley then became the head coach at New Mexico and his tenure there was rocky to say the least. While amassing a record of 2-26 in three seasons at the helm, there were also two minor scandals that clouded his tenure. In May 2009 a former administrative assistant accused Locksley of subjecting her to age and sexual discrimination but the claims were later withdrawn.
The second incident occurred in September 2009 when he was reprimanded for having an altercation with an assistant coach. Locksley was suspended without pay following the incident. He returned to Maryland in 2012 and was the OC and QB coach until 2015 when he became the interim head coach for Maryland’s last six games of the 2015 seasons compiling a record of 1-5.
Locksley is coming back to Maryland after a successful tenure as the Alabama OC. But why would Maryland want to bring in a head coach that has two prior incidents in his head coaching tenure and a 3-31 career record?
Locksley is Washington D.C. native and knows this Maryland football program very well. He knows the DMV area talent as well as anyone on the college football scene. He was heavily involved in the recruitment of recent DMV prep stars Stefon Diggs and Dwayne Haskins. The DMV area is one of the top 10 areas in the country for high school football recruiting and Locksley has continued his relationships with key players and coaches in this area throughout his tenure at Alabama.
The hire is earning rave reviews:
While there are no guarantees that Maryland picked the right guy to lead their football program moving forward, it seems as if the court of public opinion is confident that Locksley can get the Terps heading the right direction.