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Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 12/19/2010

Maryland to honor contracts of current football assistants

By Steve Yanda

Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson has informed the football team's assistant coaches that the school will pay out the remainder of their contracts and has asked them to coach the team through the Military Bowl on Dec. 29, according to a source with intimate knowledge of the situation.

The source said Anderson met with the assistants at 6 p.m. Saturday night and told them that the school will honor the full extent of their contracts, even if they are not retained by the team's next head coach.

Ralph Friedgen, who has coached the Terrapins for the past 10 seasons and earned ACC Coach of the Year honors following the team's 8-4 campaign this fall, has been asked to accept a buyout. Friedgen has not agreed to a buyout as of Sunday morning, according to a source close to the 63-year-old coach.

The source with knowledge of the discussions between the athletic department and the assistant coaches believes former Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach, 49, will succeed Friedgen at the helm of the Maryland football program.

According to that source, Maryland running backs coach John Donovan and special teams coordinator Charles Bankins verbally have accepted offers to join James Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt, though no contracts have been signed. Franklin, Maryland's former offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting, was introduced Friday as Vanderbilt's head coach.

Franklin also has shown interest in hiring Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown and wide receivers coach Lee Hull, and those two assistants also may soon join the Vanderbilt staff, the source said.

Maryland is making an attempt to try to persuade Brown to stay, a source familiar with his situation said, adding that Brown has a relationship with Leach.

By Steve Yanda  | December 19, 2010; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Kevin Anderson's handling of Ralph Friedgen is 'completely terrible,' Kevin Barnes says

Comments

How much time is left on the contracts of the remaining assistants? What are the chances of some of them staying?

Posted by: oldblue2 | December 19, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

yet another useless post. How about getting an OFFICAL, NAMED source. How about some details on the buyout offer.

Posted by: hurtinterpfan | December 19, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

How can one not appreciate the way Anderson is handling this process? It's been a busy weekend for him and he seems to be making all the right moves. Let's face it, removing Ralph Friedgen as head coach was not going to happen without an uproar from the coach's supporters. Our new AD seems to know how to take the heat and I like the path he is following. The next couple of weeks are going to be interesting.

Posted by: petecard | December 19, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

the three main reasons UM is forcing Ralph out are 1) Cash 2) Money 3) Dollars

no other reason! season tickets and luxury suite sales is all that matters. it will be very interesting to hear what UM officials say the reason is - don't believe any reason other the three above

Posted by: allaboutthecash | December 19, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

petecard: Oh, yeah, Anderson is making all the right moves: Extending Ralph's contract for having a good year, improving by 6 wins, & being named Coach of the Year in the ACC, then firing him. Class act all the way. No, I'm sure this isn't about money.
In all seriousness, I get the feeling that when UMD slipped to the 8th place ACC Bowl game, that was it for Ralph in Anderson's mind.

I'm of two minds on this, after much grousing: I don't like the way Anderson handled this. At all. Ralph deserved better. BUT, on the other hand: Ralph is 60-something; he can't coach forever. Attendance has been slippin alot, & with it, revenue. Like it or not, this matters. Most likely, we've seen the best that Ralph has to offer, & maybe now is a good time for a change, let Ralph go out on a high note.

But it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of this Terp.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 19, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

petecard: Oh, yeah, Anderson is making all the right moves: Extending Ralph's contract for having a good year, improving by 6 wins, & being named Coach of the Year in the ACC, then firing him. Class act all the way. No, I'm sure this isn't about money.
In all seriousness, I get the feeling that when UMD slipped to the 8th place ACC Bowl game, that was it for Ralph in Anderson's mind.

I'm of two minds on this, after much grousing: I don't like the way Anderson handled this. At all. Ralph deserved better. BUT, on the other hand: Ralph is 60-something; he can't coach forever. Attendance has been slippin alot, & with it, revenue. Like it or not, this matters. Most likely, we've seen the best that Ralph has to offer, & maybe now is a good time for a change, let Ralph go out on a high note.

But it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of this Terp.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 19, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Why do so many posts so up twice...Technically cant the wizard genius fix this crap!!

Posted by: carolina1 | December 19, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

College football is a business. It's been about money for a few decades now, I guess some of you hadn't noticed.

It was a business when Fridge threatened to go to the NFL early in his career if he didn't get a new deal.

It was a business when a lot of money was put into that stadium to build an upper deck, to redo the team house, to put in luxury boxes...Hello!!!!

You're paying a guy two million dollars a year. It's not to graduate his players, sorry!

Fridge is a great guy, did a great job turning around a joke of a program, and probably deserves this to end a better way. But these things always end bad, or they wouldn't end.

Posted by: sollazo | December 19, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

nyskins, you blast Anderson and then make the same point I am making. It was never going to be well-received in terms of how Ralph was going out. But you can't come up with a better scenario except for the fact that it leaked out. Was the leak intentional by the AD's office? I don't think so. The timing of this change was perfect given the circumstance: Franklin leaves and offers jobs to four other assistants. Anderson decides that Friedgen is not the answer going forward and doesn't want a "lame duck" coach. Better to pull the plug now than later. Isn't it likely that Friedgen was pressing for a commitment? By kick-off of the Military Bowl I think things will look pretty good.

Posted by: petecard | December 19, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

People have short memories. This reminds me of UVa running off Welsh to hire Groh. I hope for MD's sake this turns out better than that one did.

Posted by: mcmelton | December 19, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

carolina1: the Wash Post has to have the weakest tech support of any of the news sites I read. You'd think they could offer a button like most sites do so you can read either the first OR most recently posted comments.... at least it looks like they are finally posting in order received so you don't have to scroll back and hunt for the reader response that was later commented upon.

It must be nice for any business to have no competition in your market!

Posted by: nb888 | December 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Per D1scourse.com (re honoring contracts)---

That sounds like a noble gesture, and in a way it is. But there are two bits of reality worth mentioning.

One, no remaining assistant after offensive coordinator James Franklin's departure to Vanderbilt has a contract that lasts beyond June 30. Maryland won't be paying off any assistant coaches for long.

Two, honoring at least the base salary is pretty much written into each of the assistants' deals, anyway.

The contracts --- all obtained through open records requests --- show defensive coordinator Don Brown's term expires on Feb. 1. The other seven assistants' deals all expire on June 30.

Posted by: mcmelton | December 19, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Please stay Don Brown! The defense will be so amazing next year and beyond if he stays. The Florida State game showed how great the D already is. There were so many difficult situations and they held so many times (after DOB fumble, after punt hit Chism in the back, after FSU converted the fake punt). Make it happen Anderson!

Posted by: TerpFan2001 | December 19, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Please stay Don Brown! The defense will be so amazing next year and beyond if he stays. The Florida State game showed how great the D already is. There were so many difficult situations and they held so many times (after DOB fumble, after punt hit Chism in the back, after FSU converted the fake punt). Make it happen Anderson!

Posted by: TerpFan2001 | December 19, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. The Wifi on my Airtran flight cut out right when I submitted the comment.

Wifi on an airplane is awesome!

Posted by: TerpFan2001 | December 19, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see some info on the choices put in front of Ralph...the Sun is still reporting that Fridge has not agreed to retire....Is that the choice KA put in front of him? Walk away for free or force us to fire you for $2M?

How have Universities handled this in the past? Surely they cant expect Ralph to voluntarily leave $2M on the table for pride?


I am glad to see many of the threats of not attending UMD games have died down..thats not realistic in the long run...coaches and players come and go over the years but at the end of the day, on our hats and sweatshirts it says MARYLAND


I dont agree with how this happened but I understand the logic....

As I said before,
While we may have disagreed at times over the last 10 years about the outcome, everyone can agree that you put 100% of your heart into Maryland Football
Thank You Fridge!!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 19, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Fellow TERPS,

As a former player (co-Captain 96'), Terrapin Club Member, Season Ticket Holder, and TERP FAN, I offer the following observations:

Anderson could not have handled this the "right way," because his available options (in lieu of Franklin's departure) didn't give him room for public relations miracle-work. Everyone's quick to bash him for Indian-Giving Coach Friedgen a one year extension. But that extension was based on Franklin sticking around to succeed Friedgen after next season.

His move actually makes sense on many levels. First, if we end up going with Leach, his style of offense will only accentuate O'Brian's and our receiving squad's skills/abilities. Second, our players deserve to know who their coach will be next year - - - this expedites the process, and gives them an answer soonest. Absent giving Fridgen a 3-year extension, it's better to pull the plug now. Third, we're in the midst of the recruiting season. It's imperative to establish our Head Coach asap, to lock-in the high school talent that's currently considering playing for the TERPS next year. Forth, we need a Head Coach that can inspire our fan base into getting behind the TERPS. Most of you here are TERP NATION - - - but there's a huge pool of Alumni and potential fans that don't support our TERPS for many reasons. And though the Head Coach can't do it alone (we've also gotta win games), we need someone with charisma; who can articulate why Marylanders, Washingtonians, and Virginians should spend their entertainment dollars supporting the TERPS - - as opposed to the hundreds of other leisure options this areas has to offer.

I hope to see/hear you all at the Military Bowl (section 229, Row 9, (5, 6, 7)), as we hang a Basketball Score on ECU's Arse!

PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!

Posted by: JEDI_TERP | December 19, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

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