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Posted at 7:01 AM ET, 12/21/2010

How many Maryland football assistants will stay on board through the Military Bowl?

By Steve Yanda

Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said Monday that he has met with the football team's current assistants twice since Friday and that they have pledged to coach the Terrapins through the Military Bowl on Dec. 29. For clarity's sake, Anderson was asked to declare exactly how many assistants he expected to stay with the team through that date.

"Right now," Anderson said, "each and every one of them. Except James Franklin."

However, multiple sources familiar with the thinking of several Maryland assistants contend with that claim. Sources said that, for at least some of the assistants, locking down new gigs in the coming days would lead to immediate departures from the Terrapins.

The school announced Monday that the contract of Coach Ralph Friedgen would be terminated effective Jan. 2, meaning unemployment may soon await those assistants that cannot secure new jobs in the coming days. While Anderson said he would not mandate that the program's next head coach hire any of the assistants currently on staff, he will ask said coach to "take a good look" at the assistants currently on staff.

"They will get high accolades from me to the new football coach," Anderson said. "But it will be (his) decision."

Franklin, formerly Maryland's offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, was announced Friday as Vanderbilt's head coach. Franklin has offered Maryland running backs coach John Donovan the position of offensive coordinator on his new staff and has asked Maryland special teams coordinator Charles Bankins to join the Commodores in the same capacity, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Franklin also has shown interest in Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown, as well as Maryland wide receivers coach Lee Hull, the source said.

A Maryland team spokesman said Friday that Donovan would call plays for the Terrapins during the Military Bowl. However, should Donovan become Vanderbilt's offensive coordinator in the coming days, Hull would be a strong candidate to assume play-calling responsibilities for Maryland during its Military Bowl appearance, according to the source.

The potential for such a mass exodus of assistants from the Maryland coaching staff was one reason Anderson stated as to why he decided to terminate Friedgen's contract now, rather than bring Friedgen back for the final year of his deal. Anderson justifiably felt as though hiring a quality offensive coordinator and other quality assistants for only one season would have been nearly impossible.

Whether Franklin took the Vanderbilt job or not, Anderson made two things clear Monday: 1) He was not going to offer Friedgen an extension, and 2) Franklin would not have been a sure bet to succeed Friedgen as the program's head coach following the 2011 season.

Anderson said his intention, prior to Franklin's departure last week, was to open a national search for Maryland's next football coach at the conclusion of next season. Franklin -- who under the terms of his coach-in-waiting contract at Maryland was guaranteed $1 million if he was not named the program's next head coach -- would have been a candidate for the position, Anderson said, but he would not have been given the job automatically if he stayed. Anderson said he told Franklin as much in recent weeks.

"That decision was his," Anderson said.

Franklin elected to take the Vanderbilt job, which accelerated Friedgen's departure from the program he has led for the past 10 years and which may lead to a shortage of assistants left to coach the Terrapins against East Carolina a week from Wednesday.

By Steve Yanda  | December 21, 2010; 7:01 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: AD Kevin Anderson not concerned that his reputation may have taken a hit due to decision on Ralph Friedgen


Soon we will see many negative comments towards AD Anderson. I would like to begin with a supportive one. Ralph did a wonderful job of returning the program to good. He is a very good coach as shown by his record when he coached the players already at MD when he took over the program and this years record. But he is not a skilled recruiter as shown by the players who came to the program before James Franklin began recruiting. With Franklin leaving the Terps must obtain a head coach that can recruit and coach now!! before the program decays again. Maybe Ralph has learned to recruit from Franklin but AD Anderson is correct, He can not wait and see because the stakes are too high. So he should be commended for acting immediately. Some fault Anderson for how he went about the task but how else could a messy situation be handled except quickly with honesty. Ralph is thanked for the great job he accomplished. He is a turn around specialist but now that his mission is complete we need a long term program builder. A team that requires a turn around should hire Ralph immediately knowing he will accomplish the mission. Other industries have long recognized the turn around specialists should move on once their mission is accomplished. The same with coaches. We should Thank both Ralph and Anderson for great jobs and hope Anderson is skilled in selecting a coach that can build the program to great on a long term basis.

Posted by: geoski | December 21, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

If I was an assistant coach, I'd be interviewing fast and furiously for my next job. I'm sure that none of them has the golden parachute that Ralph does. The he-- w/ the bowl game. They're collateral damage in this whole affair and they have mouths to feed. The new coach will be dumping most, if not all, of them in short order.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 21, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Geoski hit the ball out of the park.

But the only thing that matters immediately is the little old cold Military Bowl. Hopefully, the Maryland team can play as only one heartbeat. This is the game when young boys must become young men. This is a game which will be remembered in Maryland football history. The game is now important! All Maryland fans, past and present, should show up and give coach Ralph a standing "O" before the game... and hopefully after the game.

Posted by: utilityrep1 | December 21, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should have waited until after the bowl to make a decision about Ralph, but I guess the cat was kind of out of the bag when Franklin bolted, and without an extension everyone would have seen through it anyway.

Posted by: Benson | December 21, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Lot of assumptions being made, here's another one: Everyone assumes that if Danny Obrien stays next year, he's the automatic starter. Of course he SHOULD be the starter, but you never know what will happen with a different coach and a different philosophy. It simply can't be considered a given that Danny O starts if he stays. This is the kind of uncertainty you bring on when you fire a good coach after a good year.

Oh, and if you think Torrey Smith wasn't gone before, he's gone now. Bye bye

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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