Maryland will conduct finalist interviews for its football head-coaching vacancy Sunday and Monday, according to multiple people with knowledge of the process. Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and Michigan pass game coordinator Pep Hamilton are among those who will interview, as will Matt Canada, who served as Maryland’s interim head coach this past season.
It remains unclear if Maryland is targeting more finalists for the opening, but it conducted preliminary interviews with Canada and Hamilton earlier this week. Locksley has not yet spoken with Maryland officials about the job as top-ranked Alabama prepares for the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday in Atlanta.
The finalist interviews will be conducted in Maryland. An announcement on a new head coach could be made next week, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation.
Maryland conducted interviews this week through Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search, a firm contracted by the school to help with the process. Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans was present for the interviews. Canada, who led the Terps to a 5-7 record this season despite turmoil surrounding the program after the June death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair as a result of heatstroke suffered during a team workout, interviewed in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Though Canada remains a viable candidate to permanently replace DJ Durkin, who was fired by the university Oct. 31 following 2½ months on administrative leave, both Hamilton and Locksley have emerged as promising candidates to take over the program.
Hamilton was considered a candidate the last time the job was open in 2015, shortly after he was fired as the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator. He has served as Michigan’s pass game coordinator each of the past two seasons.
A number of Maryland stakeholders, including high-level boosters and former players, expressed their support this week for Locksley to take over the program.
Locksley has strong local ties and success recruiting in this area. The Washington native, previously worked at Maryland as the running backs coach from 1997 to 2002 and again as offensive coordinator from 2012 to 2015. He served six games as the team’s interim coach in 2015 after the firing of Randy Edsall, finishing the year with a 1-5 record.
Maryland passed over Locksley for the permanent job in favor of Durkin. Evans, who at the time was the athletic department’s second-in-command, was part of that search committee.
In his only other head-coaching stint, at New Mexico, Locksley had a 2-26 record and multiple off-the-field issues.
After serving as an analyst under Nick Saban at Alabama in 2016, Locksley coached receivers and was the co-offensive coordinator last season. He began calling plays this year with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a Heisman Trophy front-runner, leading the offense. This week, Locksley was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, give annually to the country’s top assistant.