Maryland chooses Alabama OC Mike Locksley as new coach

Submitted by Gentleman Squirrels on December 4th, 2018 at 8:03 PM

Notable since Pep Hamilton was one of the finalists for the job. I wonder if this means that Pep is coming back or if Pep will continue to interview for coaching positions and that Michigan will be in the market for a new OC. I wouldn't mind seeing Matt Canada at Michigan even if it's for only one year. Maybe just to spice up Harbaugh's current offensive playbook.

Comments

CaliforniaNobody

December 4th, 2018 at 8:05 PM ^

Was hoping they’d take Pep and we’d go for a bonafide OC. I think all of their reported candidates were odd choices, do they really think he’s the reason for Bama’s offense and not the legion of 5 stars at his disposal? Not the risk I’d take.

DrMantisToboggan

December 4th, 2018 at 8:10 PM ^

Locksley was an obvious choice for them. A. He's been at Maryland before and went to Towson. He's going to recruit the hell out of the DMV. B. He learned under Brian Daboll, who is now back in the NFL, last year at Bama, and yes, was the coordinator of their elite offense this year. Yes, he is largely responsible for Bama's offense going from mid-20s in S&P (where ours is now) to top 10. 

He's as good a hire as Maryland could get, IMO.

DrMantisToboggan

December 4th, 2018 at 8:07 PM ^

Maryland fans think Locksley is going to hire OSU's Larry Johnson as his DC. This would be a massive development in the Zach Harrison recruitment, and almost certainly assure that Harrison goes blue.

DrMantisToboggan

December 4th, 2018 at 8:44 PM ^

His first full class will probably be great (at least by Maryland standards), like maybe top 20 or top 15. If he can turn that into results in a year or two, it could be a great hire. He will definitely put together a staff that can recruit that talent-rich area well, his problem will be that he still has to play us, OSU, PSU, MSU every year, and Purdue and Nebraska in 2019, and Wisconsin, NW, and Minnesota in 2020. Could be some time before he puts together a 7- or 8-win season.

Bambi

December 4th, 2018 at 8:10 PM ^

Locksley is supposed to be a great recruiter and just went through rehab at Bama. He went to Towson, is a major Baltimore/Maryland football figure, and was the interim coach after Edsall was fired at UMD in 2015.

He also went 2-26 at New Mexico and 1-5 as the Maryland interim coach. He got in trouble at UNM when "In late May 2009, a former administrative assistant at New Mexico filed an age and sex discrimination complaint against Locksley...The claims were later withdrawn." He got in trouble again in September 2009 when he fought with an assistant coach who said "Locksley choked and punched him during the attack."

Wikipedia for May 2009 claim.

ESPN article about September 2009 stuff.

This seems like a tone deaf hire by Maryland. After everything that just happened you'd think they'd want a guy with a squeaky clean record. Instead they make hire a guy with a checkered past who seems like a bad coach, just for recruiting.

 

Mr Miggle

December 4th, 2018 at 9:03 PM ^

You have a point, but he's probably not a hard sell locally. They know him well and you could say it's better to take a guy whose issues you already know well too.

Schiano might be a hard sell for a lot of programs, but Rutgers would have no problem with him. OSU and Rutgers probably wish they could make a trade for him and Ash.

ChalmersE

December 5th, 2018 at 7:42 AM ^

Au contraire, I live in Maryland, lots of angst about a Locksley here from Maryland fans. Indeed, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a blowback like Schiano at Tennessee, except no one cares about Maryland football. Like Michigan, Maryland is a basketball school. Unlike Michigan, it always has been a basketball school.

Blarvey

December 4th, 2018 at 10:10 PM ^

Canada is probably a big reason Nathan Peterman is in the NFL. Remember that 2016 Pitt team that upset PSU and Clemson? That was him and James Conner under Matt Canada's offense. 

Maryland last year lost at least 3 QBs and still managed to put up the third most rushing yards in the conference plus they put up 52 on OSU. He seems to know what he is doing.

El Jeffe

December 4th, 2018 at 8:19 PM ^

I still don't understand all the hate for Pep. As far as I can tell his biggest sins this year were:

  1. Wasn't able to outscore ND with a brand-new QB on the road against what turned out to be a CFP-level team.
  2. Wasn't able to engineer 63 points against OSU in the Shoe.

What am I missing?

Bambi

December 4th, 2018 at 8:29 PM ^

I have mixed feelings. We ended up with 39 against OSU like you said which before the game we all would have taken in a heart beat. A lot of those points came late when the game was seemingly over, but if the D could have stopped a nose bleed we were always in striking distance to make it a game. The loss to OSU to me is on the D and Brown.

That being said the inability to finish drives and score early on when the game was still close was an issue. As was the continued insistence to run Higdon up the gut on first and second down getting 1 yard a carry, putting us in 3rd and long. There was seemingly nothing creative saved for OSU and no wrinkles to try and get an undisciplined OSU D out of position.

He's the OC and play caller so that's all on him. But he's also an extension of Harbaugh. He may be the play caller, but he's calling the plays Harbaugh's approved. The idea that we'll fire Pep and get a guy like Kingsbury or Canada seems like a pipe dream to me. Harbaugh doesn't want to run those offenses, so he's not going to hire those guys. Pep's an issue, but he's a symptom and not the main problem. If a major change is going to come offensively it will because Harbaugh is going to accept a change in scheme, which seems unlikely.

* I personally don't think a major change in scheme is necessary. Like you said, we scored 39 against OSU. If we have any sort of defense that offense is good enough to be in the playoffs right now. And this was a young offense too. If we brought back Pepe and changed nothing, we'd still have some very frustrating offensive playcalls, but we'd probably end with a top 10/15 offense IMO.

Barn Animal

December 4th, 2018 at 8:38 PM ^

Judging Pep off OSU in a vacuum is difficult and ignorant. The 39 points are a bit deceiving. But at the same time Gentry had three devastating drops, that’s not on Pep.

My complaint is that over the season I didn’t think we were maximizing our offensive potential, particularly in the passing game. I like Brian and everyone on the board figured that we were holding back to keep Shea healthy and that they had an “extra gear” they could turn on for OSU.

Turns out there was no extra gear. Pep isn’t bad, but there are definitely coordinators who could do more with that  offense.