Krivak expected to resign Maryland coach plans announcement today

December 06, 1991|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Staff Correspondent

COLLEGE PARK -- University of Maryland head football coach Joe Krivak will announce his resignation today, according to sources within the athletic department.

One athletic department official said Krivak, 56, is resigning because of pressure resulting from the evaluation of the program by athletic director Andy Geiger during the past two weeks. The status of Krivak's contract was unclear last night. He has three years remaining on the $94,000-per-year contract he signed after the 1990 season.

Krivak has scheduled meetings for today to inform his assistants and players of his resignation. He also has canceled the first visit by recruits on the campus this weekend.

"Joe thought that if he had another good recruiting class, it might put the program over the hump within two or three years," said the official, who asked not to be identified. "But he did not think he could get it done next season, and he didn't want to go through the pressures he has gone through since losing the Penn State game this season.

"Joe thought he didn't get much support from the administration. The evaluation killed recruiting, and the pressure was too much."

Geiger declined to comment last night. Krivak would say only that a decision today "was probable."

Krivak's nine assistants will be paid through the first of June, when their contracts expire. Their status beyond that has not been determined.

Krivak had a 20-34-2 record in five seasons at Maryland, with his only winning season coming in 1990, when the Terps finished 6-5-1 and tied Louisiana Tech, 34-34, in the Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl.

In November 1990, after Maryland upset Virginia, 35-30, to clinch its first winning regular season since 1985, Geiger signed Krivak to a four-year contract. The program seemed on the move with the bowl appearance and renovations to Byrd Stadium.

But Maryland finished 2-9 this season, its worst since 1971. The Terps lost four starters before the midway point with injuries and had three more defensive starters declared academically ineligible before the ninth game against Penn State.

Krivak, though, came under intense criticism from alumni and supporters of the program after the eighth week of the season, when the Terps lost to North Carolina, 24-0, followed by losses to Penn State, Clemson and North Carolina State.

Krivak's critics have said he was unable to motivate and relate to his players.

Geiger, who before the evaluation said he was 95 percent certain he would retain Krivak as coach, publicly criticized the team for not playing with enthusiasm a week before the season ended. He also wanted more black assistants on the staff and, according to sources, was unhappy with several of the assistant coaches.

He scheduled a meeting with Krivak two days after the season began and interviewed players this week. Most of the younger players, according to veterans, said they wanted Krivak replaced as coach.

During his five seasons, Krivak often complained he was handcuffed by the academic standards at the school, which are higher than those of the NCAA. Krivak also said injuries caused the Terps to have a dismal 1991 season.

Krivak was named coach at Maryland in November 1986, replacing Bobby Ross.

Possible replacements for Krivak are Stanford's Dennis Green, Villanova's Andy Talley and Holy Cross's Mark Duffner. When he was athletic director at Stanford, Geiger hired Green as football coach. Geiger has said he was impressed with Duffner's credentials when he applied for the job at Stanford even though Duffner never was interviewed.

"I had no idea. I didn't think Coach Krivak would resign," said Maryland quarterback David Mike. "I think a lot of the players will enjoy playing at Maryland now, not because Joe Krivak is gone, but because there is a change."

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