Maryland special teams coordinator John Papuchis left the program after accepting a similar position on Florida State’s staff, new Seminoles coach Mike Norvell announced Tuesday.

Papuchis, a graduate of Quince Orchard High in Montgomery County, coached the special teams unit and inside linebackers during Michael Locksley’s first season as Maryland’s head coach. Papuchis will lead the special teams group and coach defensive ends at Florida State, again under a first-year head coach.

“I am truly honored to be part of Coach Norvell’s staff and to be part of the Florida State family,” Papuchis said in a statement. “Florida State is one of those special places in college football with such a rich tradition, and I look forward to being part of a new era.”

Before arriving at Maryland, Papuchis served as the defensive coordinator at North Carolina and Nebraska. He was one of the Maryland staffers with local ties, but the Terps have not recruited well in the area.

A pair of young inside linebackers, sophomores Chance Campbell and Ayinde Eley, offered some bright moments for a Terps defense that struggled this past season. Maryland allowed 34.7 points per game, which ranked 13th of 14 Big Ten teams.

Papuchis’s special teams unit had a up-and-down campaign. Running back Javon Leake, who recently announced he would forgo his final year of eligibility to declare for the NFL draft, was named the Big Ten’s return specialist of the year. Leake had two kickoff returns for touchdowns this past season. Maryland only returned nine punts but averaged 13.7 yards per attempt. The Terps’ kicker, Joseph Petrino, attempted five field goals and made two. Every other Big Ten team made at least 10 field goals.

Maryland football also recently lost Matthew Fyle, the associate director of strength and conditioning. Fyle announced he had accepted a job as the strength and conditioning coordinator at UNLV. The Terps promoted Mason Baggett, who has been on Maryland’s staff since 2016 and previously worked under Rick Court, who resigned following reports of cultural issues within the program.

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