"Randy Edsall, who spent the last 12 years taking the University of Connecticut from Division I-AA status (now FCS) to five bowl games, including a BCS contest, has been named Maryland's head football coach, director of athletics Kevin Anderson announced Sunday evening."
A press conference is scheduled for Monday at 2 PM to announce the hire.
I can't say I'm floored by the hire. I understand that AD Kevin Anderson's hand was forced in firing Friedgen, especially when James Franklin took most of Friedgen's assistants with him to Vanderbilt. The move was spun as a "strategic business decision," but really, when your head coach-in-waiting bounces and you are left with a 63-year-old lame duck head coach, you don't have much choice but to part ways and take the program in another direction.
But Edsall seems to be not much more than a younger, thinner Ralph Friedgen.
Attendance has clearly been an issue in College Park, and Edsall doesn't seem to be that "splash" hire that is going to bring students at a basketball-first school to Byrd Stadium on Saturdays. Coming up the ranks as a defensive assistant, Edsall's UConn offenses haven't exactly set the Big East ablaze. The Huskies offenses have been middle-of-the-pack for several years now. Even with RB Jordan Todman, the nation's second leading rusher, Connecticut's offense ranks 95 nationally this season. And oh, by the way, UConn hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in its last two games.
Edsall has done a great job at UConn, no question. But Terps fans can't be thrilled with this hire, not with an exciting coach like Mike Leach, despite his troubled past, left at the altar. Certainly not when you fired your school's best coach in program history who is coming off a nine win season (and ACC Coach of the Year award) ... for a coach who has won nine games just twice in his 12-year career in a lesser conference.
Over time, I could be proved wrong about Edsall at Maryland. But my gut tells me BC, and by extension, the rest of the ACC Atlantic, dodged a bullet with Maryland not hiring a guy like Mike Leach or Rich Rodriguez.
Bonus: UConn's four-touchdown Fiesta Bowl beatdown, combined with the departure of Edsall, could set the UConn football program back a bit and diffuse this ridiculous, New England Cold War between BC and Connecticut. Edsall has been a very vocal advocate of BC and UConn playing in football, which the current BC administration wants absolutely no part of, natch. UConn's next hire might not have the BC coaching lineage or be interested in renewing hostilities between the two schools.
Could there be a day in the not-too-distant future where we won't have to read the Globe pushing for an annual BC-UConn game every few months? One can only hope.