Former UConn coach will replace Friedgen
Left with a choice between a dynamic, eccentric offensive innovator and a solid, program builder, Maryland chose the latter, naming Connecticut's Randy Edsall its new football coach. The school announced the decision via press release Sunday night.
Edsall, who successfully guided UConn's transition to Division I-A (now FBS) and led the Huskies to a BCS bowl game this year, went 74-70 in 12 seasons in Storrs. Edsall, 52, was selected over former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, the only other candidate who received serious consideration, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the search.
Edsall replaces Ralph Friedgen, who was fired after going 75-50 in 10 seasons, including 9-4 this year. Friedgen coached Maryland to a 51-20 victory over East Carolina in the Military Bowl on Wednesday.
It was a whirlwind weekend for Edsall, who coached UConn in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night in Glendale, Ariz., a 48-20 loss to Oklahoma that didn't end until early Sunday morning. Hours later Edsall was in College Park interviewing with Maryland brass, including athletic director Kevin Anderson and president Wallace Loh. On Sunday night, Edsall met his new players at Gossett Team House.
Edsall will be introduced to the media Monday at a 2 p.m. news conference.
At UConn, Edsall's teams were known for their discipline and defense. The Huskies featured a low-risk offense, with an emphasis on protecting the ball. His ability to recruit helped make UConn competitive upon its move to Division I-A in 2002, when the Huskies went 6-6. The next year, UConn was 9-3. In its first year in the Big East (2004), UConn won three of six league games and earned its first of five bowl berths. The Huskies were co-Big East champions in 2007 and this season.
Leach was believed to be the front-runner after Friedgen was fired. He went 84-43 at Texas Tech, guiding the Red Raiders to 10 bowl games in as many seasons. Leach interviewed in College Park on Thursday.
He was fired by Texas Tech in 2009 when he was accused of mistreating a player. Leach has lawsuits pending against the school and ESPN.