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Posted at 3:21 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Source: John Donovan has informed Ralph Friedgen he will not coach Terps in Military Bowl

By Steve Yanda

Updated 10:46 p.m.

After former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin accepted the head coaching gig at Vanderbilt last week, Coach Ralph Friedgen tabbed running backs coach John Donovan to call plays for the Terrapins during the Dec. 29 Military Bowl at RFK Stadium. It now appears Friedgen once again is in need of someone to guide his team's offense against East Carolina.

Donovan, who is expected to join Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt as offensive coordinator, has informed Friedgen that he will not coach Maryland in its bowl game, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. Donovan and Maryland special teams coordinator Charles Bankins -- who also is expected to take a position on Franklin's coaching staff -- traveled to Nashville, Tenn. on Tuesday to complete their respective deals, the source said.

The source confirmed late Tuesday night that Bankins will coach the Terrapins in the Military Bowl. Bankins will return to Maryland on Wednesday to help the Terrapins begin preparations for the bowl game, the source said.

Maryland wide receivers coach Lee Hull, who also has received interest from Franklin regarding a spot on his coaching staff, is next in line to be given play-calling responsibilities, according to the source. Hull feels very strongly about coaching the Terrapins in the Military Bowl, the source said.

Donovan spent the past 10 seasons at Maryland, the last four of which as the team's running backs coach. Bankins was hired as the Terrapins' special teams coordinator and tight ends coach in February 2009.

By Steve Yanda  | December 21, 2010; 3:21 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Maryland sold out ticket allotment for Military Bowl

Comments

You have got to be kidding me.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

disregard...that comment was meant for a different thread.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Fridge should just call the plays as an audition for the VaTech OC job.

What happened to a little loyalty to the players that worked hard for you this entire season? Any assistants that leave for any reason other than becomming a HC somewhere else should be lacing them up in the Military Bowl with the team. This team deserves that much. As far as I'm concerned, Donovan is a coward, and if Franklin is forcing him to not coach in the game as a stipulation of becoming the Vandy OC, then he can go pound sand too. These kids worked too hard and accomplished too much this season to be abandoned by coaches looking to work their way up the ladder, while the players have little or no choice in the matter.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 21, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

So many people are criticizing the AD for his lack of respect for the head coach. But the people who really matter here are the kids. The coaches will all be fine. Franklin already left, the least every coach that wants to go to Vandy could do is coach these kids for one more game. I feel like they owe it to the kids. I really respect Bankins for wanting to come back and coach his guys one more time. I also think Donovan is letting his players down by not doing so.

Posted by: terpfan34 | December 21, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

TerpFan - If there is one thing we should have learned from the events of the past few weeks, it's that unfortunately very little about college football has to do with the kids. If history is a good yardstick, those assistants will not be retained by whomever comes in to coach the Terps in 2011. If they want a job coaching in a BCS conference, they have a pretty narrow window of opportunity to take advantage of the offers they get.

I wish it were not the case, but the kids are usually an afterthought.

Posted by: NaptownTerrapin | December 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Donovan: don't let the door hit you on the way out. You owe it to the student-athletes on the team to be there for the big game, but I guess you can't wait to go spend your holidays at Opryland, could you?

Hope you enjoy your 2-10 seasons and being every SEC team's homecoming game. Loser.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | December 21, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Looks like to me all bets were off when they started firing people.

If you're an assistant, you're running for cover at this point.

Posted by: Benson | December 21, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

That's why they usually wait until AFTER the season to fire the head coach.

In most cases, however, the head coach is getting fired because they didn't make it into a bowl game, so the whole "wait until after the bowl game" isn't applicable.

Posted by: Benson | December 21, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

disregard...that comment was meant for a different thread.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 3:39 PM
--------------

If only we could disregard all of Fargo1's comments........

Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 21, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

The truth is that athletes and coaches at the college level and beyond are just pieces of meat used by the machines to generate money and notoriety for their organizations...once they have outlived their usefulness, they are cast aside and forgotten...those that make in the pros are still coveted by their universities for the fame and money they can provide...the others are quickly forgotten...one of the posters last week mentioned Johnny Rhodes working in a carpet store in Beltsville...do you think the University is providing any low cost loans or free consulting advice from their business school? Ha...the machine is focused on the next batch of meat...sometimes the saddest thing is seeing a former UMD athlete selling clothes at the mall, cars on Rockville Pike or carpeting in Beltsville

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 21, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

If Don Brown has to back out then our team has some problems playing the game.Otherwise,the Terps still have other options to use.Thank you Md. athletic dept. for helping create a greater hardship than was necessary.The players know the schemes by now;they just need a sideline leader to call the plays/formations.I can't blame an asst. for securing a new job immediately.You can;t sign 2 contracts to work for 2 universities at the same time.Ralph wants to play this game,I bet.He won't let his players down,especially in a jammed stadium.

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 21, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

What class you show John Donovan. I don't even know who the heck you are. But I know a thing or two about class. I am sure that you preached to your student athletes all year about class and integrity, yet you abandon these kids when they need you the most. There is no excuse, when it's all said and done the kids who play for Maryland are innocent. That is why someone like Ralph Friedgen, who was so disrespected by the school he loves, is coaching the final game. He has class and he will be loyal to his kids. You sir deserve to be the SEC's homecoming game from here on out.

Posted by: tony28 | December 21, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

NEWSFLASH: Franklin's hire and job offer to Donovan is the issue with the coaching staff for the bowl game not Ralph's firing. After all, Bankins, who will also join Franklin at Vandy, IS coaching in the bowl game. Donovan wants to start recruiting at Vandy. Those assistants were all asked to coach the game. Some are choosing to get to Vandy to get up to speed.

Posted by: WheelsRI | December 21, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Vandy will win two games next year...four in 2012

Posted by: iamasofaking | December 21, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

After all the smoke clears I have a few questions for the Maryland Athletic Department.

What documentation do you have to support your assumption that the Fridge was responsible for the decline in attendance at Maryland Football games? Did you conduct a market survey of those fans that did not renew their season tickets to find out why?

What approach are you taking to attract new fans, other than hiring a new coach with heavy baggage?

Do you think scheduling Towson will wow the fans and bring in more revenue?

Are you aware of the demographics of the existing fan base and that is why you play that excessive loud rap music one and a half hours before the game. Why are you trying to replicate the professional football experience? The college football experience is far superior - consider it!

If recruiting is deficient - what financial incentives are you providing to the recruiters to bring in 4 and 5 star athletes?

Can you provide some explanation why Miami, that draws approximately 15,000 less fans for their home games was able to get a better bowl? What is wrong with the Maryland brand?

Posted by: hfterp | December 22, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

After all the smoke clears I have a few questions for the Maryland Athletic Department.

What documentation do you have to support your assumption that the Fridge was responsible for the decline in attendance at Maryland Football games? Did you conduct a market survey of those fans that did not renew their season tickets to find out why?

What approach are you taking to attract new fans, other than hiring a new coach with heavy baggage?

Do you think scheduling Towson will wow the fans and bring in more revenue?

Are you aware of the demographics of the existing fan base and that is why you play that excessive loud rap music one and a half hours before the game. Why are you trying to replicate the professional football experience? The college football experience is far superior - consider it!

If recruiting is deficient - what financial incentives are you providing to the recruiters to bring in 4 and 5 star athletes?

Can you provide some explanation why Miami, that draws approximately 15,000 less fans for their home games was able to get a better bowl? What is wrong with the Maryland brand?

Posted by: hfterp | December 22, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

jesus christ!...they play RAP MUSIC for an hour before the game?

Posted by: OldSalt8 | December 22, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

To all you ignorant and sanctimonious posters: read the article; Donovan gave 10 years of his life to the Fridge and to UMd. Now he has survived the purge instituted by the AD and landed at Vandy. How many of you would turn down a sure-thing in the face of such uncertainty? How many of you hypocrites would stick around at your old job when you just signed a contract with a new employer? And if Bankins is going to coach in the bowl, it seems obvious that Franklin told him he could do that, whereas Donovan must be needed immediately. Get a life and get a clue before you post blatherskite.

Posted by: poguemahone777 | December 22, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I'll never forget one morning I was getting coffee at West Point and Kevin Anderson walked by. I said, "Good Morning Mr. Anderson", and he looked at me and just walked by. I wish nothing but the best for Maryland Athletics but keep that guy on a short leash. He has no accounting skills what so ever. I'm convinced he felt burdened at West Point because he could not freely spend the taxpayer's money. He will probably have less restrictions at Maryland but just be careful. I imagine Under Armour will be able to do whatever they want with your football program, it's all about dollars and Anderson will be your guy in regards to that. My gut tells me that Under Armour didn't like that Fridge was the face of the football team. Vernon Davis was perfect for Under Armour but he's gone now and Ralph has to pay. Good luck being Under Armour's billboard, I'm sure it will help recruiting though.

Posted by: knight711 | December 22, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@ hfterp

For the long term health of the program, the demographic they want to attract does listen to popular music, including rap. They need to attract the 20-35 year old crowd as long term investors in the program. And as the most popular sport in the nation, why wouldn't they want to emulate the NFL experience?

Years of .500 football culminating with a 2-10 season led to the decline. Coupled with a less than engaging personality and the Fridge was clearly responsible for the declining attendance.

Scheduling Towson (and Morgan St) is the idea of the Univ of Maryland System and the state legislature, not the MD athletic department. It helps generate revenue for those programs. BTW, the Morgan State game was the second highest attendance of the year.

Providing financial incentives based on 4-5 star recruits is a good way to end up on probation. Create buzz around the program and recruits will want to come.

The Sun Bowl knows nobody is going to sell many tickets to a game in El Paso (almost all tickets are sold locally) -- so they go for the biggest "name" and best matchup. Miami-Notre Dame will be a big matchup for television ratings. As for the "Maryland brand", that's what bringing in a new coach will hopefully help establish, because right now the "Maryland brand" is as exciting as getting socks for Christmas.

Finally as to a new coach with "heavy baggage" -- go out and do some research instead of just accepting the initial reports on Mike Leach. The allegations by the spoiled son of a celebrity are false -- and the kid admitted it. Yes, after 10 years Leach rubbed some people the wrong way, as did Fridge here -- but he got results on the field and recognition nationally.

Posted by: afterp | December 22, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

How many of these posters (or should it be posers) would stick around at a job filled with such uncertainty?? After careful statisical analysis, the answer is ZERO%! How many of these posters would leave for a better opportunity? Again, waiting for the computer generated data...oh, it's 100% on you blow-hards! All you two-faced posters yapping from the sidelines can kindly STICK A CORK IN IT!...here's to VANDY putting up 50 pts a game next year w/ Donovan calling the plays!!!

Posted by: SuasDoChul555 | December 22, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

How many of these posters (or should it be posers) would stick around at a job filled with such uncertainty?? After careful statisical analysis, the answer is ZERO%! How many of these posters would leave for a better opportunity? Again, waiting for the computer generated data...oh, it's 100% of you blow-hards! All you two-faced posters yapping from the sidelines can kindly STICK A CORK IN IT!...here's to VANDY putting up 50 pts a game next year w/ Donovan calling the plays!!!

Posted by: SuasDoChul555 | December 22, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I think anyone who does not go to the bowl game with the players they coached THIS YEAR is scumbag and that includes Franklin. I don't care what job you are going to do NEXT YEAR, you have an obligation to the school and the kids you recruited and coached. you have an obligation if for no other reason than you are part of the problem that landed them in the 8th bowl position instead of the 3rd, because you could not fill the stadium during the season.

You sat in that kids living room and told him and his parents you would be there to fight with him all the way, especially Franklin who thought he would be the next head coach. If you don't do it, then you simply lied. Period. As for Donovan he is an even bigger piece of garbage!

Posted by: dbrine1261 | December 22, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

noone is asking any of them stick around if they have a better opportunity. What they are asking them to sdo is finish the job they already have befoe they leave. If these guys are the ones theye want at the new jobs, it would only be a positive thing if they said " I owe it to the kids to stick around an extra week and help them win their bowl game". The last time i changed jobs for a better opportunity I stayed an extra month to finish a year long project before moving on. You owe that to your previous employer and all the other people that depended on you. Those that say they would leave without so much as notice given are as big a scumbag as Franklin and Donovan.

There is nothing to be done the last two weeks of December at a new job at Vanderbilt that wouldnt wait until the 1st of the year. The only explanation is that Franklin is bitter and gave his new coaches an ultimatum, come now or I won't hold your spot. if that's the case, why would you want to work for that guy anyway.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | December 22, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

This guy Donovan shows so little class, I say good to be rid of him. Sure, he wants to move on. Sure he is probably sore at Anderson. But what a lack of regard for the kids he coached and a program he was part of for 10 years. 10 years! What character. What an example for the players to emulate in their lives going forward. But boy, he'll sure show that Anderson a thing or two.

Posted by: JLFTerps73 | December 22, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

According to news reports, current ticket sales for Champs Sports Bowl:

WVU - sold 4,400 out of 12,500 allotment

NCSU - sold 9,000 out of 13,500 allotment (although one news report indicates that they sold less than that)

Congratulations to the Sports Champs Bowl -You reap what you sow!

Posted by: smitch6087 | December 22, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

What about contracts? I thought the coachs were obligated for the term of the contract?

Posted by: tankterp | December 22, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering: did all you outraged Terps fans rip apart Ralph Friedgen when he resigned his position as Georgia Tech's offensive coordinator before the Peach Bowl to become your head coach in December 2000? Or how about when Gary Williams left behind all those "poor kids" at Ohio State? You turtles are choking on sour grapes and kool-aid.

Posted by: poguemahone777 | December 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Friedgen is planning to coach in the military bowl.

The only question is about the assistants, who were definitely the LAST concern of Anderson in his decision making and in the timing of his public announcement.

Maybe Kevin Plank and Under Armour can come up with some assistants, since they seem to be running things.

Posted by: Benson | December 22, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Ralph is a better offensive coordinator than head coach anyway. He should call the plays.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | December 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I think those of you who think Donovan has no other choice don't understand this process. Assistants can sign a contract with one school while still completing something at their current university. In this case, Donovan could prep and coach for the bowl game but would not be recruiting for MD anymore. It's a dead period for college recruiting anyway - very little contact is allowed. He would stay on the job for 8 more days and then be 100% behind Vanderbilt. Franklin could have stayed too - before Bo Pelini took over Nebraska (as head coach), he stayed on for LSU's bowl game. So don't think that there is no other choice. It's a simple matter of finishing what you start!

Posted by: terpfan34 | December 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to the Fridge calling his own plays? When he came here, all we heard about was his play calling ability and his offensive prowess. Now, ten years later, he is an offensive liability?

Posted by: 1of9000 | December 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

All of us would leave our job right now if there was a better offer on the table... we cant blame Donovan for leaving. College Football is a business the coaches & the players know it. Read some of the comments from former players and you guys will see that we as FANS are blowing this up for our own entertainment. Former players like KB are pissed & some former players like my boy Jordan understand it for what it is. after made some good points in that post...

@hfterp- you sound like a ranting fan with no sense..(the kind of fan who makes me read these comments actually lol) who else is responsible for the football program losing attendance, revenue, recruits & games? Let me try and explain it to you and some others who think College Sports is still about having fun. A friend of mine who played soccer at Ohio, Im sorry THE Ohio State University, worked in the AD after he finished up his playing career. He described the AD at OSU as a fortune 500 business (run by Nike). The President, AD and Board of Trustees (Phil Knight and company) are all share holders of that business, they are responsible for nothing but returns (Champion$hip$).The Head Coach of a team is the CEO and is responsible for everything that has to do with his/her team. The most important thing is ROI. When a company does not have high returns for a ANY period of time the CEO is held responsible and has to answer to the shareholders, just like RF did. Yes it can get ugly and out of hand (like it is now) but RF knew what he was getting into. He knew when DY left for NCST that his butt was on the line. KA better get ML on board ASAP and get a plan together with Plank. I see no reason why UMD can't be like Oregon, well not completely like Oregon but more like Ohio St.

Does anyone know how many bowl teams are actually playing without the HC that got them to the bowl? I can only think of Univ of Miami and Northern Illinois.

Posted by: dasilva_ryan | December 22, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Not here to rip on coach Donovan.Franklin has to feel no more loyalty for Md. since Ralph wanted an extension and Anderson basically ripped Yow's contract up in front of him.That's 0-2 and no head coaching job at Md. He probably believed his time to head coach at Md. was inevitable and that turned out to be false under new athletic management.There are probably real personal decisions being being made against the university and the players are last in line in some of these life changing scenarios.If I have this wrong then somebody can counter another opinion here,I'm open to try and understand what's really going on.Thanks.

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the hiring policy allowing coasches to bail on their teams in the middle of the season. I understand the recruiting schedule is there but they should still have to wait until the seaon is over like in the NFL. So waht if they lose recruits, that would be the price paid for coaching changes. This is as fraudulent as the postseason B.(C.)S.

Posted by: Jase21 | December 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Okay, okay. If you insist. I'll call the plays.

Posted by: steven09 | December 22, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

ECU 54
Md 35
Go Pirates!

Posted by: rfe18 | December 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Ralph wanted an extension and Anderson basically ripped Yow's contract up in front of him.

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

FWIW Yow quite openly tried to fire Friedgen after last season. He was only brought back because the athletic department couldn't raise the necessary funds to buy him out.

Posted by: elowe2 | December 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many students won't get funding to go to MD, because they have to pay 2 head coaching salaries next year. Don't like Ralph? Then fire him after next season and save $2 million. What a strange world is college football where that kind of money doesn't matter.

Posted by: paul6554 | December 22, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Elowe2,I need to clarify that I meant ad Anderson chucked Yow's agreement with Franklin,did;nt want to honor it(not Ralph's contract).Also,I was ready to can the Fridge myself,but,he insisted that last year's 2-10 season was'nt going to happen this year,so,I gave him the benefit of my last doubts about him and glad that I did.Thanks.

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

It's the freakin Military Bowl, not the national title game. If anyone on this board was offered a higher paying, higher profile job, and had the chance to start right away, you'd all do the same thing. And as poguemahone said, Fridge did the same thing 10 years ago!

Posted by: TheYeti1 | December 22, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

paul6554 - every penny of Ralph's buyout is from private funds. Has nothing to do with scholarships, etc at all.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 22, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't blame an asst. for securing a new job immediately.You can;t sign 2 contracts to work for 2 universities at the same time.Ralph wants to play this game,I bet.He won't let his players down,especially in a jammed stadium.

Posted by: worcsterguy
_______________________________
All these guys are scared of their own shadow. Donovan could have verbally agreed to Franklin he would come on after the Military Bowl. It's not as if anything crucial will be going on next week in between the holidays. Give it a break. It's so shady now no one trusts each other with a verbal - just like coaches in football poach players verbally committed to a school. No fun in the snake pit, but hey, it's a nice fat paycheck for the asst coaches at schools outside of UMD.

Posted by: terptek | December 22, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

heard jim harbaugh of stanford is on the list

Posted by: carolina1 | December 22, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yapping-Blowhards: now that Yanda has revised his own story, where are the apologies for calling John Donovan a classless, sc*mbag-coward on this message board??? I guess you have Steve Yanda and James Franklin to blame for making you bear false witness against your neighbor right before Christmas! Or maybe you can look in the mirror. Think before you post you mindless terrapin herd!

Posted by: poguemahone777 | December 23, 2010 12:06 AM |

Posted by: poguemahone777 | December 23, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

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