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QBREES9 01-02-2011 08:49 PM

Maryland hires UConns Edsall
Maryland hires Edsall

By Steve Yanda and Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writers

During the past 12 seasons, Randy Edsall helped Connecticut evolve from a division I-AA squad into a Big East champion and Bowl Championship Series bowl participant. Edsall's next challenge will be to turn Maryland's football program from "good to great," as first-year Athletic Director Kevin Anderson recently put it.

Anderson announced Edsall's hiring in a news release issued Sunday by the school's athletic department. Edsall will be introduced formally at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.

Edsall and his family traveled to the College Park campus to receive a tour of the school Sunday, and Edsall was interviewed by the school's search committee, individuals close to the Maryland athletic department and Edsall said.

Connecticut fell to Oklahoma, 48-20, Saturday night in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was considered a front-runner until late last week but his chances diminished considerably within the past 48 hours, according to four individuals with knowledge of the situation. Three of the sources are close to the Maryland athletic department, one source is close to Leach.

Regarding Leach, one person with knowledge of the school's search for a new head football coach said Maryland "got cold feet."

"They wanted to make the conservative, safe, non-confrontational hire," this individual said. "That's the bottom line."

The source and others contacted for this story did not want to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly on behalf of Maryland, Edsall or Leach.

Edsall will replace Ralph Friedgen, whose contract was terminated effective Sunday following a 10-year tenure as his alma mater's head coach.

Edsall, 52, has compiled a 74-70 record in 12 seasons at Connecticut, including five bowl appearances and a share of two Big East titles. The Huskies' Fiesta Bowl appearance Saturday was the first Bowl Championship Series berth in program history. Edsall, the 2010 Big East coach of the year, stands as the winningest coach in Connecticut program history.

Edsall, who signed a five-year contract with the Huskies in February 2008, will owe Connecticut a $400,000 buyout. His base salary for the past season was $350,000.

Edsall was 1-16 against ranked opponents at U-Conn. Friedgen was 13-20 against ranked opponents at Maryland, including wins over four ranked opponents in 2008.

papz 01-03-2011 01:23 PM

You guys lost a good coach Q, but it's a great opportunity for him being able to snag higher quality recruits. I hear there are some Mangini rumors floating around up there... so it might work out just fine.

QBREES9 01-07-2011 12:23 PM

Thanks Papz I was in Shock I never heard a word about it. But thats the Biz

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