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Posted at 2:55 PM ET, 12/20/2010

Kevin Anderson announces Ralph Friedgen's departure

By Washington Post editors

One month and two days ago, Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson publicly said that Ralph Friedgen would return to coach the Terrapins football team in 2011. Today, he is saying that is not the case.

We'll keep you updated on the news conference here or you can follow along on Twitter.

Anderson: Athletic department to buy out final year of Friedgen's contract, effective after Military Bowl; a national search will begin immediately.

Anderson thanked Friedgen for turning a struggling football program into “a good one.” He called the firing a "strategic business decision" and emphasized that no state money was used for the buyout.

Anderson said offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting James Franklin's departure to become the head coach at Vanderbilt accelerated the timetable for making a coaching change. He said Friedgen would have returned had Franklin remained at Maryland.

Anderson said Friedgen made it clear he "didn't want to be a lame-duck coach," but Anderson said he "wasn't prepared and wasn't willing" to give him a contract extension. he said retaining Friedgen was "not in the best interest of moving the program from good to great."

As for a successor, Anderson conceded he has a list and that Mike Leach is on that list, but "right now, there is no leading candidate." Asked about a timetable, Anderson said he hoped to have a new coach in place by the time that the next recruiting period begins Jan. 4.

Maryland President Wallace D. Loh spoke after Anderson and thanked Friedgen and his wife for their years of service: "For all they have given the university, we are forever grateful."

Further Loh said, "I hired Kevin Anderson not only because of his commitment to transformative excellence in athletics, but because of his values. ...

"When he said to me, 'We need to think long-term because of this unexpected departure [Franklin's leaving],' I said that is proceeding accountably."

By Washington Post editors  | December 20, 2010; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  Ralph Friedgen  
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Next: MD Pres Loh: '[$2 million Friedgen buyout] Is What Integrity Is All About'

Comments

Of course Anderson had to stress "no public funds" after his predessor tripped all over herself with that one.

Posted by: CapsNut | December 20, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Of course Anderson had to stress "no public funds" after his predessor tripped all over herself with that one.

Posted by: CapsNut | December 20, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"and emphasized that no state money was used for the buyout"...

Time to read between the lines. So Kevin Plank didn't want to spend the cash last year to buy Fridge out under Yow with Leach not readily available. But with less left on the contract, Leach in waiting and the Franklin buyout no longer there - it made more sense to Plank now.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 20, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

ACC coach of the year, 7 bowl games, still a very young team, phenomenal quarterback. Yea, he should be fired. When did Dan Snyder take over UMD? run away O'Brien, as fast as you can

Posted by: markn52 | December 20, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

How many pairs of panties has Fargo1 gotten bunched up today? Just by judging all of his comments today I'd say at least a 1/2 dozen.

Of course Fargo1 wants to throw around insults and the race card at other Terp fans/posters.

Too bad Fargo1 isn't a man of his word and won't boycott UMD like he said he would earlier. Probably because no one else was that moronic enough so when he realised he was the only one, he flip-flopped.

Dunno who's a worse flip-flopper, Fargo1 or politicians.

Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 20, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

money is thanks to ESPN deal.

regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | December 20, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

In his last 7 years he won 6 more games compared to his losses. This year he beat no ranked teams. He lost to WVU,Clemson,Miami,FSU. Clemson and Miami sucked. He should have been fired years ago.

Posted by: nyx567 | December 20, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Good to know who REALLY runs the UMd Athletic Department. Hint: Not Anderson.

Posted by: deMille_Ondefloss | December 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I watched the press conference and really, we learned nothing new. It was all covered by Eric and a number of our comments. The one thing that was interesting was that Friedgen didn't want to be a lame duck either and he and Anderson talked about that issue as early as Wednesday. Anderson certainly could have spoken more about how the program will become a Top 25 program on a consistent basis, but I think it would have forced him to critique Friedgen, something he understandably wanted to avoid. We should start a pool: Pick the hour that Leach will be named. I'll say 3:00 PM on December 30th.

Posted by: petecard | December 20, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad so many complainers around here seem to forget 2009, when one of the team's two wins was over James Madison in overtime at home.

If people are really desiring to continue only beating bad teams, then keep the complaints coming.

If anyone can't see there was a change from the early years until now, I don't know what brand of football you have been watching.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 20, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Irony all over the place. Anderson mentions recruiting several times...but Mike Leach has an acknowledged distaste for recruiting. Any of you Gary haters out there over his recruiting style are gonna be whining over Leach if he cannot out produce Fridge and Franklin. And if the new coach does out perform them, it'll be easy to say "those were Fridge's and Franklin's recruits, that's why so and so did so good!"

Posted by: terptek | December 20, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Money is thanks to Under Armour.

Like NIKE does to the University of Oregon- UM is controlled by Under Armour.

You want the check, you do what they say!

Posted by: sheadarnell | December 20, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if they were Franklin's recruits? Franklin chose to leave!

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 20, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Anderson and Loh certainly acquitted the decision nicely. Simply put, you don't take a lame duck old coach and make him the lame duck old coach for 2-3 more years. From a program standpoint, it just doesn't make sense and so many of the casual fans don't get it. Furthermore, Anderson clearly put to rest this notion pushed by some writers that he screwed Fridge over. Unless Ralph comes out and declares that Anderson is a liar, it's clear that there was an understanding for Ralph to step down with his $2M, but Ralph left Friday before the conference call.

I think Loh did a great job of telling the reporters that Anderson acted honorably, and that they have an objective and don't need to hear from reporters about how to handle difficult situation that most of them don't understand.

When Leach is announced as a candidate, we'll get the facts out about the allegations by TT and James.

What's richly ironic is that people who follow the program closely, those with ties to big boosters, were the ones that showed up to games the last 2 years and know about some of Ralph's attitudes towards players and supporters. There is stuff that most casual fans don't even understand. Meanwhile, the casual fans, the ones who stopped going to games are the ones who are bellyaching about the treatment of Ralph. How rich is that? So many of the posters on these blogs are so clueless, it's not even funny with the way they opine with misinformation. I guarantee you the majority of them didn't watch the stream of the announcement.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 20, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if they were Franklin's recruits? Franklin chose to leave!

Posted by: BrokenClipboard
_____________________________

Then why were there so many posters loving to talk about "Vanderlinden's recruits" when Fridge was successful initially? When the team succeeds these next 2-3 years, it will be because they were Franklin's recruits, no?

Posted by: terptek | December 20, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I also watched the Presser - - - and what is absolutely clear (unless you think Loh and Anderson are a couple of full of "bull ish-liers") is that Coach Friedgen was definitely coming back next year. Franklin's decision to go to Vandy, along with a contingent of other assistants, is the primary reason Friedgen contact had to be bought-out.

So with no Offensive Coordinator, potentially no Defensive Coordinator, who knows how many assistants on a caravan down I-81 South into Tennessee, and a recruiting season that's two weeks away - - - there's an expectation that Coach Friedgen should be brought back, and would be able to replace those assistants in time to start recruiting on January 4th, 2011 - - - and our Program would not suffer?

Here's to our TERPS coming out fired up, and posting a NBA score on ECU

PROTECT THIS HOUSE

Posted by: JEDI_TERP | December 20, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

minhle1:

Great last point. Also notice the deafening silence from the boosters. When Yow passed the hat last year, you heard from boosters. When Yow floated canning Gary, you heard an uproar. Now? Not so much. That says a lot about where the monied interests are.

To tell you the truth, if Kevin Plank wants to go all Phil Knight on MD, I'm pretty much okay with it. No one at Oregon complains about it. No one at OK St complains about T.Boone Pickens dumping $100M into athletics.

The University of Maryland has superior academics. The institution has learned from the Len Bias tragedy, and the university has probably the strongest culture of compliance in the NCAA. That's not going to change because Mike Leach comes to town. He has a great record on the academic side, and zero NCAA issues. None.

Everyone do me a favor and Google "Leach James deposition".

Posted by: WheelsRI | December 20, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Vanderlinden was FIRED. Franklin was not.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 20, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

terptek, Leach was not a great recruiter, especially with the likes of UT, A&M, OK, Neb. OK St. recruiting against you, but his sustain success recruited players and will do so at MD. Ralph was not a good recruiter either. What Leach will need is an assistant that can recruit, just like Franklin did, and Al Golden at Uva. He'll also need a sound def. coord. who can also recruit. If Brown stays, he should be able to maintain the interest we've gotten from florida players. Leach may get a player or two from Texas. then we'll need a QB or position coach who can control recruiting in this area. I think that's why Locks has been mentioned. Maybe offer Larry Johnson from Penn St. the head recruiter/Def Coord position if Brown is gone. I think you will find that from a HC perspective, we will not have a downgrade in recruiting.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 20, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Poopy_McPoop, the guy who hilariously got banned from posting comments on the Washington Post site and is now posting under the name DixonTheDog, claims that I am "the only one" who said he wouldn't renew if Friedgen were fired. He claimed "no one else was that moronic enough."

Here's a few things that make you go hmmm:

I am sure there are others that feel the same way

Posted by: Barno1
____________________

I will be out too Barno. One's word one is one's word, regardless of the Coach Franklin hiring.

Posted by: terptek | December 17, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I am a season ticket holder who also won't be renewing next year if Friedgen is fired.

Posted by: this_guy | December 17, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

What a joke. I'm with Barno. If Fridge is fired, I'd have to consider canceling my season tickets.

Posted by: aviscardo | December 17, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

if Kevin thinks he is slick by waiting until after most of the tickets have been purchased to announce this, he can keep my $55 dollars and shove it up his A$$ because I wont renew next year.

Posted by: terpape | December 17, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

If Maryland hires Mike Leach, who treats his players like dirt, I'm canceling my season tickets and leaving the Terrapin Club and MGN. The new AD is a disaster! A winning season and yet we're in bigger disarray than the Redskins.

Posted by: terpalleycat | December 18, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I'll echo Barno and rescind my tickets and donations to the school if this happens. Fire Kevin Anderson. Worst. Hire. Ever.

Posted by: H1Dynasty | December 17, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

A no-class AD, a no-backbone University President, a no-class bowl game in a trash stadium, and a probable no-class new football coach. Cancel my Terps football season tickets NOW !!! I will not be a party to continued abuse.

Posted by: broxfan | December 20, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Poopy_McPoop/DixontheDog is wrong yet again, as usual. Time for him to go back to his mom's basement and throw more fits over losing his right to post comments here under the name Poopy.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This year he beat no ranked teams. He lost to WVU,Clemson,Miami,FSU. Clemson and Miami sucked. He should have been fired years ago.

Posted by: nyx567 | December 20, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Um, Maryland handily beat a ranked North Carolina State team this year. But hey, the more false information the Fridge-haters spread, the more people might believe it right? They can't win the argument with facts so they have to resort to making things up.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 20, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Barno, we had less than 19K in season tickets last year and 50% of the suites remain unleased, WHILE Ralph was the head coach! People gave up on Ralph long before you and your band of 6 posters threatened your boycott. You think Anderson was clueless to this fact?

Posted by: minhle1 | December 20, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The AD PR session was pretty good, and puts it all in context for the needs of the department and the Institution.

Thanks Ralph.

Let's hope they land a good coach and that it gets done by January 1. Leach would help fill seats; Locksley, not so much.

And if UnderArmor is paying the freight, then say Thank You, and take the money.

Posted by: rhall2 | December 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Before you start complaining about Under Armour, Kevin Anderson, etc, let’s take a look around. Fridge has been here for 10 years and in that time, only once or twice did this program resemble a top 25 program. What about the other years? Declining attendance and alumni support is what got him fired.

Everyone likes to complain, but how many alumni donate to the program? From looking at the list of Terrapin Club & M Club members, there's not a lot of them. MD didn't sell out 1 home game this year!!! They have yet to sell out the suites at all! WAKE UP! If you want to play with the big boys, you need to have MONEY from alumni. That's how the facilities get built. That's how you pay for a good coach. Fridge alienated a lot of former players and I can't imagine that his speech at the basketball game a couple weeks ago inspired ticket sales to the bowl game.

Be thankful that you have an AD who wants to change the culture of MD Football. If you want to wallow in mediocrity, keep things as they are. If you finally want to play with the big boys, Alumni, put your money where your mouth is and help MD look like a real football school instead of a major D2 program!

Posted by: Toochilled | December 20, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Prepare yourself for The Duffner Era Part II.

Posted by: aviscardo | December 20, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

So shouldn't we start referring to Maryland as "The University of Under Armour at College Park"? I mean, this move is so transparent it's not even funny. It was bought and sold by Plank, who really ought to go get bought out by Nike.

Posted by: CryoGen | December 20, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

avis, do you know Leach's record? and that's in the big 12, not the acc. comparing it to Duff is outragiously silly.

Why would anyone care about UA paying the freight...that's like saying you HAVE ZERO idea of how college football works. Scholarships, coaches salaries and buyouts are paid for by the supporters/boosters/sponsors all the time! You think Most schools pay $2M to coaches from their own coffers? LOL, that's Nike, Addidas, Under Armour and Reebok, idiot.

I cannot tell you how impressed I was withj Anderson giving context to the folks that are crying over the events. These reporters understandably see a good story by sympathizing with Ralph's situation, but if you do not make one mention of the declining attendance, support from boosters, poor performance over the past 6-7 years, in addition to Ralph being an old lame duck coach with possibly no coordinators, then that writer is a just an opportunistic hack.

And I appreciate Loh telling those very same reporters, listen, don't question our integrity...it takes conviction to make this type of commitment and we don't need to be questioned about it. He basically told them to shut it.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 20, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

$2 millon..... that is a TON of bacon cheeseburgers. Ralph will be fine.

Posted by: brian1va1 | December 20, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Time to pop the champagne to new hope.

As a part Texan - ya'll have no idea how lucky you are to have Leach interested.

Quit whining and remember this:
Mark Duffner was hired to rekindle academics as MD mens sports were hitting a bottom. The budget was a mess, basketball was on a near death penalty, and Andy Geiger thought a clean cut guy who was 70-10 at Holy Cross was the answer. Not the answer for recruiting - so bring vandy - not the answer for wins - so bring on ralph - not the answer beyond a military bowl - however ralph maximized out his first three years to get new facilities. This is a key to drawing Leach. Leach has it all and will compete with old JoPa and Frank Beamer.

Ralph at 64 is not going to give any more and he got 15 million for the seven years of a contract period that saw no major bowls and a near .500 record and a record for most losses in a season - killing TV and season ticket sales.

The real story on Leach was tough contract negotiations and causing a stir. 79% graduation rate, had tech ranked #2 in the nation at one point.
Perfect entry as JoePa fades away toward his 90's....

Posted by: ravens1123 | December 20, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I think people are forgetting what a poor in game coach big Ralph is. He does not manage the game clock, this cost him in the Florida State game. Poor use of time outs is another Ralph MO. I love the big guy, but if Md. wants to attract the best they need to be coached by the best. Ralph was not quite big time enough.

Posted by: popsharris | December 20, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

This move is because he couldn't fill up the stadium. Money, pure and simple. MD football was an afterthought before he got here. I never thought the powers that control college football would let their greed show so clearly. No more faking it huh.

Posted by: Ike1975 | December 20, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Both sides of this debate have merits.

The Feinstien article from yesterday lays out both sides of the story pretty well. It may be a good juncture for change, but I sure wish they'd found a better way to thank Ralph for his service to the U. (Yeah, I know he got paid.) He should have his name in the Ring of Honor (regardless of not taking a bargain buyout), & have some sort of facility named after him, or something to show respect for an alum who brought the program back from the darkness. He's earned it, & it would go a long way toward soothing ruffled feathers.

It wouldn't hurt to invite Ralph back in the next year (or two) as an honoree during halftime at Homecoming, either. Go Terps!

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 20, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The ACC is not the SEC, nor will it ever be. How do you justify releasing the Coach of the Year if not for only $$$$. I realize that Leach (IF he comes) will possibly take our Terps to the next level.But lets not forget what we had before Ralph came here. My autographed picture of Fridge hangs proudly in my office along side of Gary's and the piece of floor from Cole FH. Good Luck Ralph; and if you do retire,Enjoy and God's Speed.
You deservered better than this.

Posted by: rkmech11 | December 20, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

First of all, hats off to Loh and Anderson for a great press conference. They logically and rationally explained the situation and their rationale (read Feinstein's column), and I am 101% with them (Terrapin Club member since 1986 and NO plan on quitting). Do you think Mote and Yao would have had the gumption or stones to do this? Now get get Leach and watch the ACC cower in fear when we unleash our offensive fury on them.

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | December 20, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

And so all of the "fans" who have wanted to run Ralph out of town for the last couple of years finally got what they wanted. Happy now? Enjoying the bad press? Predictions: Danny O'Brien will transfer and Maryland will have at least two losing seasons under Leach (or whomever). We'll see how happy you are then.

Posted by: AmoryBlaine1 | December 20, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a long time fan and an acquaintance of Ralph, met him at GT and appreciate his intelligence and love of both football and Maryland Football in particular. It is difficult to argue with those who point out some of Ralph's coaching mistakes, clock management, and game management. Guy down at LSU has made more bad mistakes and gotten away with it. If you have better players, you are a better coach, period.

So Maryland might hire Mike Leach, IMHO a really stupid hire. First he will have zero loyalty to the program and leave the first chance he gets. This is a coach who locked a young man in a dark room because he was injured, sued his previous employer for firing him for mistreatment of said player, and trashed everybody at Texas Tech. I pulled for Maryland because of Ralph so my opinion is biased I freely admit. I personally hope when Kevin Anderson goes home for Christmas his mother runs out from under the house and bites him on his ankle.

I sincerely hope Maryland does hire a great coach and has success, but I doubt it will be the next coach. Whatever his faults, Ralph loved, bled and died with Maryland Football. No amount of money will replace that kind of love and dedication, Ralph will be missed.

Posted by: billswann | December 20, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The opera isn't over until the fat man accepts the buyout.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 20, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

billswann,

1-Leach was at TT for 10 years. when was he disloyal? He was actually compensated through an incentive-laden cobtract and was due $800K in a bonus when TT went with the James story.

2-Adam James was not locked in a shed. The building held equipment, and was used by for press conferences during practices...in other words, it's a huge building. James was not locked and was in the building with trainers. Get your facts straight...James admitted to not being locked.

There are too many casual fans spewing nonsense when they simply don't bother looking up all the information out there.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 20, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

and BTW, Les miles has won a title and is normally a top 10 team with all of Les' mistakes...when has Ralph demonstrated anything remotely close? you really should stop posting.

Posted by: minhle1 | December 20, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Good riddins...long overdue for new blood....

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | December 20, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about Ralph's record, he brought this program back from the dead. And for that we should be forever grateful.

There's nothing like an Maryland Man running a Maryland program. Ralph bled Maryland Red for his alma mater. He was hard working, open, honest, full of integrity, and scandal free. He gave his team his very best and doesn't deserve the way he was treated today. Tonight, everyone at his alma mater should bleed Maryland Red for him!

Posted by: cmauro10 | December 20, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Fridge has been here for 10 years and in that time, only once or twice did this program resemble a top 25 program. What about the other years?

Posted by: Toochilled | December 20, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Only once or twice? It's insane comments like that that really make me question who is posting on this board. Is it fans from rival schools??

After we win our bowl, Maryland will have been nationally ranked in 6 of Ralph's 10 seasons. 6 of 10! 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010.

We have AVERAGED the 26th rated recruiting class in the nation in that time according to Rivals, and even in our down years we had a recruiting class ranked 16th in the country.

We have put more players in the NFL than any other ACC team during that time other than Miami (who don't really count since they weren't part of the ACC until midway through the decade).

Following even our year, we were on national tv more times this year than in any time in Maryland history.

We beat multiple top 10 teams even in a year where we weren't very good (07).

But yeah we have never resembled a top 25 program...yeah never. Dir da dir da dir.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 20, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Football boosters AKA Terrapin Club do contribute to regular scholarships or building funds. So they cannot fathom the impact that disturbed alumni withholding annual donations may cause on the university. Ralph and Gary had the support of the alumni who donate the $$ that support the nonfootball programs.

Posted by: terpalumnus | December 21, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

The new scuttlebutt is Randy Edsall from UConn. This is a joke right? Fire the ACC COY and hire some scrub from the Big East? I hope they're kidding.

Posted by: aviscardo | December 21, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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