Randy Shannon Declines Maryland Defensive Coordinator Job

Randy Shannon has reportedly declined an offer to become Maryland's defensive coordinator, leaving the school still in a chase to fill out the staff as spring practice approaches.

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Report: Randy Shannon Declines Maryland Offer

Randy Edsall's congealing staff of gruff, taciturn coaches at Maryland will be missing another Randy, perhaps the gruffest guy of all: The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Randy Shannon has declined an offer to join the Terps as defensive coordinator. Financial obstacles with Shannon's buyout from Miami apparently played a central role in the deal falling through.

SB Nation's Maryland community, Testudo Times, asks, "Does anything good ever happen to us?" Not lately, no:

In all seriousness, it seems like buyout money was the sticking issue (he would have lost $1.5 mil from Miami if he signed with us.) Still, it amazes me that Kevin Anderson wasn't aware of this ahead of time/and or prepared to compensate him for that loss. Why go through the whole process and get the fanbase excited without a knowledge of the contract situation of the guy you're trying to hire? Another black eye in the early AD tenure of Kevin Anderson.

It's an excellent point. That's a lot to shell out for a coordinator, particularly just after shelling out even more to oust the last guy, but was the Maryland athletic department just hoping this wouldn't come up?

It's a little early on the west coast for UCLA reactions, but we'd imagine Bruins Nation is a little "So you're telling us there's a chance!" right now. Hang in there, everybody.

For more Maryland athletics news and chatter, visit Testudo Times and SB Nation DC.

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Ralph Friedgen To Receive Buyout; Mike Leach A Replacement Candidate

The University of Maryland has just concluded a press conference on the immediate future of the Terrapins football program, and one major storyline can be immediately sewn up: Effective this coming January 2, head coach Ralph Friedgen's contract will be bought out, to the tune of a cool $2 million, so that a new coach can be brought in. New athletic director Kevin Anderson, who assumed the post shortly after the beginning of the 2010 college football season, spoke at some length about the decision. Some highlights from his remarks (not included: a truly sinister leer at ESPN's Heather Dinich):

• Right off the bat, he's asked about the persistent rumors that Mike Leach will be brought in. He neatly skirted the topic in his opening remarks by dismissing all weekend chatter as rumor and innuendo, but Anderson does cop to Leach being a candidate. He wants a new coach in place before the dead recruiting period ends in January.

• Anderson characterizes the process they're about to undertake as a national search that will involve one of those cushy outside search firms. Neither he nor his staff (which, of course, does not include such personnel as University trustee and Leach pal Kevin Plank) have contacted any candidate.

• Friedgen's ouster became an inevitability, according to Anderson, with the departure of James Franklin to Vanderbilt. (Very interesting to note here that Anderson does not say Franklin, despite being the designated coach in waiting, would necessarily have been afforded the head coaching position had he not left.)

• Regarding Friedgen's buyout and the mutual-or-not nature of the decision: SB Nation DC caught this exchange, in which the process appears to have been both amicable and not:

Anderson said the decision to part ways was a mutual one with Friedgen initially. As of last Wednesday, they were set to meet and discuss how to part ways amicably. But that meeting never materialized, explaining why the buyout happened this way.

"He told me and he looked me in the eye and said he understood. That was Wednesday. Friday, we'd determine what kind of exit strategy we'd have. Somewhere between Wed and Fri, that never materialized. I can't tell you what happened, but I gather he had a change of heart."

• Asked if on-field performance factored into his decision, Anderson insists, awkwardly, that it did. Asked whether coaches might be reluctant to join up with a program where a winning record and clean dealings with the NCAA don't necessarily lead to job security, Anderson hems and haws for a bit, then says he doesn't think it will negatively impact the search. Regretfully, no one asks how it feels to fire the reigning ACC Coach Of The Year.

University president Wallace Loh takes the mic at this point, and lays the whole situation at Franklin's feet: Had he not left, and taken assistants, then the department wouldn't be faced with the dilemma of hiring assistants to join on in the last year of a coach's contract. He professes to be "very grateful for the years of service and dedication of Coach Friedgen."

And that's a wrap for the Friedgen era at Maryland, save for next week's Military Bowl. Please collect your side bet winnings at the door.

For more Maryland athletics news and discussion, visit SB Nation DC and Testudo Times.

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Reports: Mike Leach Is Maryland's First Choice To Replace Ralph Friedgen As Football Coach

Just to catch up on where we're at with the abruptly impending coaching search at Maryland: Ralph Friedgen has, in hilarious language, been told "he cannot coach the team" next year. He still hasn't indicated whether or not he'll accept his athletic department overlords' orders to retire, which could mean new AD Kevin Anderson's about to have a standoff on his hands. He's told his team he'll coach the Terps in the Military Bowl. And now, fans of pirates and lots of points, rejoice: Washington Post, who so recently and memorably whiffed on the non-hiring of Gus Malzahn at Vanderbilt, is carefully citing three (3!) sources saying Maryland is chasing Mike Leach to replace Friedgen. Our colleague Spencer Hall summed it up succintly this morning: "Friedgen was named the ACC Coach of the Year in November, and will be fired after the bowl game because he refuses to retire." Never say the Terps won't be prepared spiritually for the cutthroat reign of the Dread Cap'n of Division I-A.

The key figure in the shakeup appears to be Maryland trustee Kevin Plank (so many Kevins!), who could feasibly be set on finessing his alma mater into an east coast answer to Phil Knight's Nike fiefdom at Oregon:

As for the search for Friedgen's replacement, there is mutual interest between Leach and Maryland, according to three sources, two of whom are close to Maryland and one of whom is close to Leach. Leach is said to be very interested in the job. He has a strong relationship with Kevin Plank, a former Maryland football player who sits on the school's board of trustees and whose apparel company, Under Armour, is the outfitter for the school's athletic teams.

When reached by phone Friday, Leach said he had yet to be contacted by Maryland.

Ah, yes, but that was Friday, and lo! A press conference is set for 3 p.m. EST Monday afternoon to discuss the Terps football program!

SB Nation's Testudo Times reacts to the gathering storm:

Doesn't really matter, of course, because Maryland has the right to buy out his contract regardless. Still..."firing" Fridge? Yikes. That's not going to go over well in the media and/or history. Was hoping he'd be able to see that he's not doing anyone - particularly Maryland - any good with this. He should be careful not to dissolve the goodwill here.

Still, part of me admires Friedgen. He's got guts. If they're going to get rid of him, he's going to make them call it what it is.

For more news and discussion of Maryland athletics, visit SB Nation DC and Testudo Times.

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