NCAA FB, Terps

Edsall’s first win

Randy Edsall speaks at a news conference after being introduced as the new head football coach at the University of Maryland, Monday, Jan. 3, 2011, in College Park, Md.… Read more » (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

Tuesday’s announcement that Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown is returning to the program marks the first victory of new head coach Randy Edsall’s Terrapin career. The sigh of relief by fans is the first step in winning over a hostile fan base still weary of his hiring. Coach Edsall faces many off field battles before he even begins to walk the sidelines of Byrd Stadium, and Don Brown staying with team was extremely important. Never has the hiring of a new coach brought so much controversy to the University of Maryland, and it is Edsall alone who must put the fires out.

The many fans, alumni, and various other supporters threatening to take action with their wallets to show their displeasure with his hiring can be silenced. Some season ticket holders have already written letters to the administration canceling their orders for next year, and those threats have extended to membership dues for Terrapin Club, and Maryland Gridiron Network supporters too, but those actions can be reversed. In order for Coach Edsall to win over Maryland fans, and silence his critics he must earn victories in these 6 areas:

1. Retain Don Brown (Win, Tuesday January 4, 2011)
Why the fans want to see this to happen….
• In 2 seasons Coach Brown turned the Terps into a solid defensive team
• Players love playing for him, and his defense is exciting to recruits
• Brown is a solid recruiter with ties to talent rich Florida

2. Hire a dynamic offensive coordinator to develop the very talented young QBs
Why is this important to fans?
• Danny O’Brien is bringing the Terps back to the days when Maryland was known as ‘Quarterback U’, and fans want to see him throw the ball
• UConns ‘run baby run’ offense is boring, and the fans are not excited about an offense where the tailback gets 35 carries
• James Franklin never took advantage of the talent on the roster and if Edsall can land a better play caller he will win over many skeptical fans

3. Hire a top recruiting coordinator
Fans care about this because…
• Maryland fans are tired of seeing top in-state talent leave for “greener” pastures
• Furthermore, fans are skeptical of Edsall’s lousy track record as a recruiter
• A top recruiting coordinator will signal to fans that Edsall doesn’t intend to bring in mostly 2 and 3 star talent

4. Land a recruiting class no lower than #35 Nationally
What will this do for the fan base?
• If Edsall can keep the current recruiting class together, and even add a few gems, fans will begin to buy in.
• The top teams in the country recruit the top talent in the country. Maryland fans want see this team become a national contender.
• A top 35 class shows that the future is bright, and all this talk of ACC Championships isn’t just a pipe dream

5. Put on an exciting Red-White spring game
Why does a practice game matter?
• If the annual spring game is a dud then the disgruntled voices will become louder.
• An exciting Red-White game can help save, or even add to season ticket sales by proving to fans that the Terps intend to dominant on both sides of the football.

6. Avoid controversy with key members of staff and roster
• Many fans believe that Maryland is a team on the cusp of something great, and the last thing fans want to see is the team torn apart and rebuilt.
• Every head coach needs to do things his way, and assert his authority. However if Coach Edsall can manage to keep the status quo of the current team fans will take notice, and feel secure that this team is in fact ready to take off.


About Patrick C. Duffy

Patrick Duffy is a Communications/Journalism student at the University of Maryland, University College. I also teach sixth grade English, high school Journalism, and Physical Education. Additionally, I’m the school’s Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach. My work is featured on the Maryland page of Bleacher Report, and has been redistributed by the University of Maryland football and baseball teams.


2 thoughts on “Edsall’s first win

  1. Controversy? Hey getting rid of Sollazzo was a big mistake! I played for the Terps when Roy Lester was let go and Claiborne came in.. He kept one guy a D Line Coach named Ron Rice who had a little unknown project on the DL line named Randy White and we all what happened to Randy. Sollazzo took a kid that no one recruited Joe Vellano and made him an 2nd Team All ACC as a sophomore.. Not bad.
    I can tell you this there are a lot of Ex Terp players that are Livid about letting Sollazzo go at least 100 from the count on one of the last steaming emails that I have received in the last day.. Yours truly one of them! He was a connection with lots of the players in the 80’s when he was with Fridge and Bobby Ross and the last 10 years of kids that have played. And most good coaches will tell you that ex players are not only some of the best eyes and ears a head Coach can have but also a good foundation for a strong program.

    I can tell all you fans out the and me that this whole drama was an insult to Maryland Athletics. And for ex players like me, letting Dave go was the icing on the cake.. I seriously considering not renewing my 8 season tickets that I have had for 25 years.

    Posted by James | January 7, 2011, 5:26 PM
    • James, thanks for sharing. I never understood why Sollazzo got so much heat as the defensive line coach the past 10 years. What other coach showed as much energy as he did on the sidelines? No one. He took mostly 1- and 2-star talent and molded them into a solid unit, and many who played for him on the DL have had shots in the Pros. Perhaps Edsall felt big Dave’s relationship with Fridge was too intimidating, but then again who knows for sure. I was also disappointed to see Al Seamonson wasn’t retained either. He was quietly one of the top LB coaches in the country. Just look at how rock solid the Maryland LB unit has been throughout the past 10 years. Keep me updated on your thoughts, and maybe the thoughts of your former teammates, as the long offseason progresses. Coach Edsall has a lot of work to do to win folks over.

      Posted by Patrick Duffy | January 7, 2011, 6:00 PM

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