It has been a dizzying 24 hours in the Maryland football program, which is now poised to bring back former running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Mike Locksley, according to two individuals close to the program.
The hiring of Locksley as offensive coordinator would be a boon to the Terrapins’ recruiting efforts because the 41-year-old Washington native has strong recruiting relationships throughout the region.
Locksley would replace Gary Crowton, who is leaving the program after just one season as offensive coordinator under first-year Coach Randy Edsall. Maryland has yet to announce Crowton’s departure, but three sources aware of his exit confirmed the move Wednesday afternoon.
Crowton last week had openly campaigned for the Colorado State head coaching job by telling the Denver Post that he “very much” wanted the job. The Rams hired Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain this week.
After finishing 2-10 this past season, Edsall has pledged to make necessary “tweaks” to make strides in his second year. The departure of Crowton, who had a three-year deal paying him an annual compensation of more than $500,000, and the expected hiring of Locksley represent significant change.
Locksley was fired from his only college head coaching job, at New Mexico, on Sept. 25 after going 2-26. But the former Towson defensive back has earned his reputation through his success in recruiting at three Football Bowl Subdivision schools: Maryland, Florida and Illinois.
After serving as an assistant at Maryland for six seasons under Ron Vanderlinden and then Ralph Friedgen, Locksley was named running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida under Ron Zook in February 2003.
In 2005, Locksley again joined forces with Zook, this time at Illinois, where Locksley was hired as Zook’s offensive coordinator. At Illinois, Locksley established somewhat of a D.C. pipeline to Champaign, Ill., helping to sign at least nine players from the Washington area, including touted wide receiver Arrelious Benn.
Recruiting rankings are extremely subjective, but, at last check, Maryland’s recruiting class was ranked last in the 12-team ACC, according to Rivals.com. But more than six weeks remain until February’s National Signing Day.
After Friedgen was fired in December 2010, Locksley was interested in the Maryland head coaching position, believing that he could secure elite area prospects because of his relationships. At the time, he was not interested in being an offensive coordinator.
In 2009, Locksley served a
What are your thoughts on Locksley? And how much would he help recruiting? Are your thoughts on the state of the program starting to change?
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