Times are dark right now at Byrd Stadium. The Terps are currently 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten conference and have a rough four-game stretch coming up against two top 25 teams.
Now, the Terrapins have fired their Head Coach Randy Edsall, who had a 22-33 record overall and a 10-23 conference record. For a Power Five conference member, that is not acceptable. In the five-year period before Edsall became the head man at College Park, the Terps had a 34-30 overall record and a 18-17 in conference record. That is still not good, but at least the team was above .500.
Now the Terps need to hire somebody not in the program, and that new coach needs to establish a new environment and change things dramatically. Here a few coaches I think are right for the Maryland job:
Chip Kelly – I know what you are thinking: why would Chip Kelly leave the NFL for Maryland? I think that this could actually happen, mostly because of Under Armour. Right now Under Armour has pledged $155 million to Maryland to renovate the old Cole Field House for a new training facility for basketball and football. Another reason is the DMV to UMD movement, where local football players are staying home to help rejuvenate the program, such as QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. (from Bullis) and WR Tino Ellis (from Dematha). Kelly is ultimately the best choice for Maryland just for his recruiting skills, but will this actually happen? Probably not, but Terps fans can dream.
Scott Frost – Currently he is the Offensive Coordinator at Oregon, and with the downward spiral the team is in right now, I’d think that Frost would want to jump ship and try to turn the Maryland program around. While Frost has been the Offensive Coordinator at Oregon (2013-present), the Ducks have been ranked 2nd, 1st, and now 6th in total yards and 4th, 5th, and 7th in points scored. Frost would be the best man for the job at UMD because of the style of offense he runs, which tailors to a mobile QB. Next season the Terps are bringing in 4-star recruit QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. from Bullis; he is considered a Pocket Passer, but he can use his legs when needed. This is a resemblance to Frost’s first QB, Marcus Mariota.
Dino Babers – If you can’t beat ’em, then hire ’em. If you do not know, Babers is the Head Coach at Bowling Green, who earlier this year put a beat down on the Terps, winning 48-27. This season Bowling Green has a top-10 offense because of the weapons they have: QB Matt Johnson and WR Roger Lewis. The Terps have the weapons, but they don’t have the right philosophy. We can assume that Haskins Jr. will redshirt (sit out one year) next season and Jr. Perry Hills will have control of the offense next year. Hills has shown flashes of promise and excellence on the field, but he hasn’t had the correct system for him. Barbers could build around Hills and Haskins Jr.
Charlie Strong – Currently Charlie Strong is the Head Coach at Texas, but he hasn’t lived up the expectations that Texas had for him. That is perfect for the Terps. I say this because if Strong is fired after this season, he can’t go down any further; it’s only up for him. Strong turned Louisville into a powerhouse while he was the head man and turned Teddy Bridgewater into a NFL QB. What is there to stop Strong from turning around another troubled program? Strong has the mentality that Maryland needs: strong, hard-working, and doesn’t cut corners. He is also a very good recruiter and could help bring in outside talent to Maryland.
Lane Kiffin– You might know Kiffin for his failed coaching tenures with the Oakland Raiders and USC Trojans, and for his jettison from the Tennessee Volunteers. Now as the Offensive Coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide, he led a top 10 offense last season, and this season the offense has dropped to 29th. Now you may be wondering why would the Terrapins want him as their head coach, and the answer is rather simple. He is an amazing recruiter. During his time with USC, the Trojans constantly had top-10 recruiting classes, and he is even making a big impact for Alabama and their recruitment of high school athletes. In Kiffin’s second season at USC, he led them to a 10-2 record overall and a 7-2 conference record. He has a career 35-21 overall record and a 17-12 conference record in his coaching career. Kiffin might be the most likely out of all the candidates mentioned in this article.
I believe that any of these candidates would fit the mold of what Maryland is looking for in a coach and hopefully restore the program that is rich in tradition. So the question is, could Chip Kelly, Charlie Strong, or Lane Kiffin be the ones leading the Terps in to Byrd Stadium on Saturdays next season? We don’t know yet, but for now we are anxious to see how interim Head Coach Mike Locksley does in the final seven games.