Maryland fired long-time coach Ralph Friedgen Monday basically so that Mike Leach can be their head coach on Tuesday or Wednesday. They might be classy enough to wait until after the bowl game to hire Leach, but I’d be mildly surprised.
It might work out because Leach is a really good coach, but this sure seems like a classic case of a guy taking a shot at a really hot chick who might or might not be crazy and dumping his faithful, yet slightly dumpy girlfriend.
Maryland’s AD has only been on the job for like three months, and he refused to negotiate an extension with Friedgen beyond next year, making it obviously clear that he wanted then coach-in-waiting James Franklin or some one else as the head man rather than Friedgen. This was always going to end badly.
Then Franklin peaced out on Maryland for Vanderbilt. That’s right. Vanderbilt.
At the time, I thought it was because he just felt like dissing Maryland and wanted to coach in the SEC. After all, it IS Maryland. Not exactly a football-heavy institution, historically speaking. But now it’s become clear he was probably quietly told that Friedgen was out and so was he shortly thereafter, so he took off. Besides, Maryland went 8-4 this year. That ain’t happening every year.
Friedgen has been on the job for ten years, and this was his third go-round at Maryland as a player and coach. It’s his alma mater, for f*ck’s sake. The guy wasn’t going anywhere and absolutely gave his heart and soul to Maryland. It’s a miracle he kept them as relevant as they are.
But instead, the Terps and their new AD are going for the flashy hire because the new guy wants to make his mark and to hell with the $2 million it’ll cost them.
Now it seems like Leach is going to be the guy, and if he doesn’t work out, this huge financial gamble is going to get Kevin Anderson fired before Mike Leach.
Hiring Mike Leach might not even be that great an idea. At least Friedgen knew the area.
Sure, Leach seems like a decent fit on the surface, though his ties to Under Armour are an incredibly poor reason to hire some one. Plus, that exit from Texas Tech, while maybe a little over the top on the part of the university, wasn’t pretty. And the guy’s ego is, well, big. He’s going to run his program his way, and it’s doubtful he’ll listen very closely to the AD.
He was also recruiting out of Texas the whole time he was in Lubbock, and he never produced a pro quarterback of any note and only Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree are offensive playmakers you give a shit about that came from Texas Tech. It’s extremely debatable whether Leach will be able to get even that amount of talent when recruiting from New England and the east. If this were lacrosse, maybe, but not football.
So yeah, Ralph Friedgen didn’t always win a ton at Maryland, and there’s a lot of apathy around that program and among the fans, but hiring Mike Leach doesn’t necessarily solve any of those problems. It’s not like there was a ton of energy for football in college park when Friedgen got there in 2000 either.
But I’m sure Kevin Anderson knows all about this already. And college football with Mike Leach is much more fun anyway. I’m just saying this could be a huge f*cking train wreck, and it’ll be fun to watch.