Reports: Terps Football set to hire Alabama Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley as next Head Coach

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

Mike Locksley has a great coaching background. Just don’t ask anyone at New Mexico where Locksley was 2-26 as Head Coach. Image Credit: One Bronco Nation

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.

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Podcast Episode 26: Who’s ready to walk with Mike Elias (and run with Lamar Jackson)?

Image Credit: Camden Chat

Welcome to Episode 26 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

After Jake tells a rather unfortunate story to kick off the show, the guys recap Lamar Jackson‘s first NFL start, a 24-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals (8:38). They’ll also take a look at what was said during John Harbaugh’s Monday press conference (23:21) where the Ravens’ head coach lashed out at reporters over questions about Jackson and Marshal Yanda allegedly spitting on Vontaze Burfict, as reported by ProFootballTalk.

As we always do during our Ravens discussions, we share our lists for Who’s Trending (28:58) and some things to watch for during Sunday’s 1:00 matchup with the 2-8 Oakland Raiders (41:23).

For this week’s Orioles segment, Jake, Nolan, and Ian revisit the Mike Elias hire and break down the top takeaways from yesterday’s introductory press conference with Elias and the Angelos boys (48:30). Is this the right move by the Orioles, and should fans buy into what the Angelos boys and Elias covered during Monday’s news conference?

Up next, Ian tags out and we check in with our Maryland Football expert Jay Stavros (1:02:47). On Saturday the Terps fell to Ohio State in overtime 52-51, but they led for most of regulation and gave the Buckeyes all they could handle. Can the Terps put together a similar performance on Saturday in Penn State and clinch bowl eligibility with a win? Is Matt Canada definitely on his way out? Stavros runs through it all.

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Baltimore sports athletes to wear the number 26 (1:09:50).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

The Charm City Bird Watch Podcast is brought to you by Seven Sports Bar & Grille. For a limited time only on behalf on Charm City Bird Watch, you can receive a 10% discount off any entree dish when you tell your server or bartender the promo code Charm City.’

College Park Thriller: Maryland falls 52-51 to #10 Ohio State

College Park — The Terps dropped to 5-6, 3-5 BIG10 after a 52-51 senior day loss at home against the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes. The Terps jumped out to a fast start, leading 24-17 at the half. Ohio State’s perseverance shined through at the end as the game resulted in a 52-51  overtime loss for the Terps.

In the first quarter, the Terps were rolling. The crowd was fired up as the Terps led 17-3 after the first quarter behind sensational touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards by Anthony McFarland. All stops were pulled for this team, as Maryland Kicker Joseph Petrino successfully executed a pooch kick which the Terps recovered. Unfortunately, the Terps missed out a golden opportunity as Jeshaun Jones fumbled on the very next play of the game. At the half, the Terps led the Buckeyes 24-17.

In the second half, the Terps continued to churn out yards on the ground as McFarland rumbled for a freshman record of 298 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. McFarland was only six yards short of tying Lamont Jordan’s school record for rushing yards in a single game.

Despite giving up 52 points, the Maryland defense played well enough to win, forcing three turnovers, including a pick-six by RaVon Davis.

The Buckeyes trailed the entire game until overtime, down two touchdowns in the third quarter and trailing 45-38 with under two minutes left. Before battling back behind six touchdowns from Dwayne Haskins. Haskins, a former Maryland verbal commit, was 28-for-38 for 405 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Haskins led a game-tying drive with less than two minutes left which ended with a three-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victor.

ZYRKY5HKV4I6RL7R53BJW34SZI.jpgAt the end of regulation, these two teams had racked up nearly 100 points and over 1200 yards. The first possession of overtime ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by Haskins. This was the first lead change of the game. The Buckeyes led 52-45 as the Terps took possession. The Terps stayed on the ground with Tayon Fleet-Davis scoring a one-yard rushing touchdown. Coach Matt Canada and staff made a high-stakes gamble to go for two. Quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome threw a pass that was off-target, missing a wide open Jones in the end zone. The gamble did not pay off as the Terps fell 52-51 in overtime.

Takeaways

  • The Terps should retain Canada as the head coach. Canada has  moved into a new, difficult role at a challenging time. He has been relatively successful, winning five games, and leading one of the most explosives offenses in the nation. He could bring the stability that this program needs.
  • McFarland is going to be an absolute superstar. McFarland is shifty enough to make defenders miss, and has the breakaway speed to leave defenders in the dust. He has broke the freshman single game rushing record twice this season. He broke it against Indiana where he rushed for 210 yards, and again this week against the Buckeyes where he rushed for 298 yards only six yard shy of breaking Lamont Jordans single game record.
  • With just one game let against the #14 Penn State Nittnay Lions next weekend, the Terps are still looking for that sixth win to become bowl eligible. The Lions will certainly bring a near impossible match up at in State College. But if the Terps play like they did against the Buckeyes they will have a good shot to upset the Nittnay Lions.