Terps coaching search part 2 - My wish list
I'm sure those of you who read my post on Mike Leach are saying, "So wise guy, if not Mike Leach then who?" Well I can't tell you exactly who it's going to be. And unfortunately, if I was going to guess right now, I'd have to say it is going to be Leach. Although, you can bet your favorite Christmas present that I have a wish list of the other guys I'd rather it be.
Mike Locksley (New Mexico head coach) - I don't believe he is head coach material as he's gone 2-22 at New Mexico so far. But if athletic director Kevin Anderson could convince him to come back home to Maryland as the offensive coordinator and focus on recruiting, it would upgrade the Terps from an ACC power to a national power.
Tyrone Willingham (former Notre Dame head coach) - His name was thrown around in some of the early speculation I read, but he's never proven to be a great recruiter or coach. I don't want him at all.
Ken Niumatalolo (Navy head coach) - He seems to be an excellent coach and truly cares about his players. I think he values coaching at the Naval Academy too much though, and I don't want to see the triple option in College Park.
Kyle Whittingham (Utah head coach) - Fantastic coach with a 58-20 record and has ties to Under Armour. Seems to be waiting on the upper-echelon programs to come knocking so it's doubtful the Terps would have a chance.
#4: Mike Tice - Chicago Bears offensive line coach
Positives: There are two attributes that stand out to me above all else when it comes to Mike Tice - he is a Maryland alum and has NFL ties, both of which could make him an excellent recruiter in this area, something that the Terps have lacked since the early 2000s. He also has head coaching experience and has been at the helm of some very good offenses.
Negatives: Tice has never held a coaching job in college, so speculating that he could be a great coach and recruiter for the Terps is exactly that, speculation. The Bears offensive line has also been embarrassed and extremely inconsistent with him at the wheel this season, though there is a lack of talent. Tice almost seems like Ralph Friedgen 2.0 - a Maryland alum, coached in the NFL, offensive minded, etc... While I love "Fridge," I doubt Kevin Anderson is looking for his stunt-double.
Analysis: I've liked Tice ever since he took over in Minnesota in 2001, so I do have a small bias. I believe Tice would consider a return to College Park when you consider he has a middling job in the NFL, not to mention the ties he has to the university. He could be successful with the Terps, but the lack of buzz surrounding his name so far tells me there's little chance he would be the guy.
#3: Kevin Sumlin - Houston Cougars head coach
Positives: An up-and-coming coach and fantastic offensive mind who has been courted by some high profile programs. His team reportedly loves to play for him and he is said to be an excellent recruiter. Sumlin could translate this recruiting prowess to the D.C. area. Not the sexiest name out there, but after he integrates himself with the media he would be loved in the D.C. area and could fill up Byrd in a short period of time.
Negatives: Sumlin has no ties to the east coast, much less the D.C. area. Also had a less than stellar season last year only winning five games. After Sumlin turns the Terps into a consistent winner, he could use Maryland as a stepping stone to another program.
Analysis: Before this past season, I would've said the Terps had no shot because he would've been gobbled up by an upper-echelon program. The biggest reason he struggled last season was because his Heisman candidate quarterback missed most of the season; something most programs struggle to recover from (see: Texas, Florida). I think the Terps have a shot if we're aggressive enough.
#2: Randy Edsall - Connecticut Huskies head coach
Positives: He's one of the most respected football coaches in the nation. Edsall was reportedly in the running for high profile jobs already this offseason, such as Miami and Florida. He has transformed UConn from an FCS (1-AA) program into a Big East champion. He is very fiery and his players seem to love to play for him. He has coached on the east coast his entire career.
Negatives: There could be an unforeseen reason that other programs such as Miami and Florida passed him over. Even though UConn won the Big East, it's a lot like being the fastest offensive lineman - sure it's nice but does it really matter? He hasn't lit the world on fire when it comes to recruiting.
Analysis: There was a rumor going around that Edsall threw his name into the hat to become Maryland's next head coach. Even though he hasn't had top-five recruiting classes, he hasn't had the greatest resources at UConn to do so. Maryland seems to be more committed than ever to winning, especially financially, which I'm sure he could put to good use.
#1: Gus Malzahn - Auburn Tigers offensive coordinator
Positives: Gus Malzahn is the hottest name among coordinators in the country. He has produced some of the top offenses in the country every season that he's been in college football, whether it was at Arkansas, Tulsa, or Auburn. Players love to play for him and consistently sing his praises. Has the kind of name that could recruit exceedingly well in the D.C. area and effectively push programs such as Penn State out. Also has a tie to Under Armour as Auburn is also sponsored by UA.
Negatives: I seriously doubt he would treat Maryland as a long term situation, rather as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. He hasn't been a head coach yet in college, but he has been a head coach of high school teams.
Analysis: I actually believe we have a decent chance of landing Malzahn if we push hard enough. He did just recently turn down Vanderbilt, but Maryland is a markedly better program in a much better situation than Vandy. The Terps feature a fertile recruiting area with no local rivals, an AD that is committed to winning sooner than later, and a relatively talented team already in place. While he likely wouldn't stay for long, he could do absolute wonders for the program while he is here.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. What do you think about the list? Who's your favorite and who did I leave off? I'd love to get the pulse of Terrapin Nation.
On a side note, I wanted to take a minute to thank all of you who have been reading and supporting my blog as well as Box Seats in general. Box Seats is written solely by fans, for the fans. We do it because we love these teams just as much as you do and love to write about our perspective and read what you guys are thinking about as well. I sincerely appreciate you all, and hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and wish you all the very best in the New Year.
| December 23, 2010; 3:18 PM ET
Categories: Rick Nelligan, Terps | Tags: Rick Nelligan, Terps
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