Terps DC Brian Stewart agrees to multi-year contract extension


Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart. (Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract extension, two sources with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday night.

Stewart’s previous contract, a two-year deal signed on Jan. 18, 2012, paid him a total salary of $355,250 per year — including extras. The deal  was scheduled to expire Jan. 31. The extension officially checks off one of the Terrapins’s key offseason goals, locking down the future of the experienced defensive coordinator. The discussions had been ongoing for several weeks since the season ended with a loss in the Military Bowl to Marshall, another individual with knowledge of the situation said.

Popular among his players, with an affinity for blasting old-school rap music before his defensive backs meetings, Stewart has spent nine seasons in the NFL ranks with four teams, learning under Wade Phillips and serving as the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys from 2007-08. He held the same position with the Houston Cougars from 2010-11 before joining Coach Randy Edsall’s staff in 2012.

Under Stewart, a pressure-minded coach who runs a blitz-heavy 3-4 scheme, Maryland finished tied for 18th nationally this season in sacks per game, 44th in total defense and eighth nationally in tackles for a loss, despite losing starting cornerbacks Jeremiah Johnson and Dexter McDougle — and sack specialist linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil — to major injuries. In 2012, the Terrapins were 26th nationally in rush defense, anchored by defensive linemen Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, both of whom now play in the NFL.

With offensive coordinator Mike Locksley under contract until Dec. 31, 2015, according to a copy of the contract obtained via an open records request, the Terps still are yet to announce anything concrete concerning the futures of five position assistants. Defensive line coach Greg Gattuso left after accepting the head coaching position at Albany and offensive line coach Tom Brattan did not have his contract renewed. Wide receivers coach Lee Hull is currently a finalist for the Morgan State head coaching job, an announcement for which is expected later this week. Inside linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski, outside linebackers coach Lyndon Johnson, running backs and special teams coach Andre Powell, and tight ends coach John Dunn have all been welcomed back.

Interviews for the open positions are currently ongoing.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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