Will Joe go? Krivak may have won over Geiger, but, at 55, does he still want job? By Doug Brown

November 19, 1990|By Evening Sun Staff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- There appears to be more than one person with a decision to make on the question of whether Joe Krivak remains as Maryland's football coach.

One of them, of course, is athletic director Andy Geiger.

Another is Krivak himself. Does Krivak, after four years and at the age of 55, really want to return for more?

Throughout the season, he periodically dropped hints that, even if the university wanted him back, he would have to give it serious thought and discuss it with his wife Jeannie after the season.

In the intoxicating aftermath of Maryland's shocking 35-30 upset of No. 8 Virginia Saturday, Krivak was asked again if he had reservations about continuing.

"I don't want to think about that now," Krivak said, uncharacteristically parrying the question. "We might have a bowl game to play. We deserve a bowl as much as a lot of teams."

Geiger, however, thinks it unlikely Maryland will receive a bid, even though four of Maryland's losses were to Top 25 teams. He said he has been talking "off and on," mostly with the Atlantic Coast Conference officials, who have been monitoring it closely.

"We haven't been invited," Geiger said. "All the bowls were closed before our game [Saturday]. North Carolina at 6-4-1 and Maryland at 6-5 won't go. Something might change, but I think the chances are slim."

Still, in the space of an afternoon that they entered with the bleak prospect of another losing season, the Terps indeed turned it around.

For Krivak, it was a hectic week. He admitted he tossed and turned in his sleep and he tried to shut out the distractions.

He and his wife took a leisurely walk around this college town Friday night. They circled the hotel where the team was staying and strolled past a shopping mall. They talked, but not about the possibility of Saturday's game being his last as coach.

"We kicked around a lot of things," Krivak said.

He paused and smiled. "This win takes care of a lot of them."

Krivak could not be prodded into revealing the nature of the "things." Again parrying, he veered off course by quoting Terps linebacker Jack Bradford: "Bradford summed it up. He said, 'We're winners.' "

In stunning Virginia, a 23-point favorite, the Terps beat a Top 10 team for the first time since upsetting No. 6 Miami Nov. 10, 1984, in the Orange Bowl. They finished this season with a 6-5 record, their first winning campaign since they went 9-3 under Bobby Ross in 1985 and defeated Syracuse in the Cherry Bowl. People forgot, for the moment, Krivak's four-year record of 18-25-1.

Geiger was at the clubhouse door after the game, serving as greeter as the ecstatic players filed in.

"I'm as thrilled as anyone," Geiger said. "We saw everything you could want from your football program today, including excellent coaching."

Was that a hint as to how Geiger is thinking and leaning? Possibly. But Geiger reiterated that he and Krivak would confer, starting today, before any decision would be made.

"It's wide open; no decision has been made," Geiger said. "Joe has an agenda of things he's not happy with. He has mentioned problems he wants to correct. I have thoughts, too.

"We'll talk [today], perhaps Tuesday and maybe Wednesday. We want to get to know each other. I want his ideas for the future and I want him to know mine."

It's apparently not a simple matter of Geiger saying he wants, or doesn't want, Krivak back, or of Krivak saying that he wants to continue because the job isn't done or that he's had enough of the position under difficult circumstances.

"When you evaluate something like this, it's not necessarily the man but the situation," Geiger said. "I'm talking about admissions, financial aid, facilities, recruiting, personnel. The whole management situation has to be addressed."

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