MIAMI - Maryland offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe said he was disappointed yet understanding about losing out to Chan Gailey for Georgia Tech's head-coaching job.
Taaffe, who had worked with Tech athletic director David Braine in the past, said that Braine told him that the school was hiring Gailey, a former coach with the Dallas Cowboys and the current Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator. The announcement was made Saturday."[Braine] said some nice things and said they had to go this way at this time," Taaffe said. "They handled it very well. I'm just appreciative that I would be considered."
Taaffe, a former head coach at the Citadel and then for the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, had interviewed with Braine in the Baltimore area earlier this month. The Yellow Jackets were looking to replace George O'Leary, who had left to take over Notre Dame but resigned five days after taking the Irish job because of inaccuracies in his resume.
As this season went on, Taaffe was given increasingly more credit for the success of Maryland's offense, which was largely responsible for the 35.5 points per game the team scored.
Taaffe was among those mentioned in connection with the Tech job, including several head coaches and ABC analyst Terry Bowden.
"I looked at it and said this is great if it happens, but realistically you can't count on them," he said. "I've felt like I'm in a win-win situation. We've had a tremendous season here, one that will stay with me for the rest of my life."
While Florida coach Steve Spurrier has been known to be an overbearing presence with his offensive assistants, Taafe was given plenty of responsibility by Friedgen.
"Our relationship goes back 20 years," Taafe said. "We're friends, in a addition to being co-workers. We've talked a lot of football over the years, and we're pretty much on the same page as to how we see the way offensive football should be played.
"Ralph Friedgen is one of the great, if not the greatest, offensive minds, with experience in the option game and the throwing game. When he hired me, he said he would have a lot on his plate. He might not be able to stay involved in the daily Xs and Os, and he wanted someone he could trust."
Gators reserve tailback Ran Carthon is the son of Maurice Carthon, the fullback who helped the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles and is now a coach with the Detroit Lions. ...
Nickel back Rod Littles is the only Terp from Florida. The Gators don't have any players from Maryland, but the Florida media guide notes that walk-on wide receiver Danny Heard's ancestors include Francis Scott Key. ...
Florida cornerback Bennie Alexander is a cousin of Reidel Anthony, a former Gators wide receiver who was Tampa Bay's first-round draft choice in 1997. ...
Terps tailback Jason Crawford, who had rolled an ankle on Saturday, had recovered yesterday. ... Friedgen said he plans to have his team practice in pads, though it will not engage in heavy hitting.
No. 6 Maryland (10-1) vs. No. 5 Florida (9-2)
Site: Pro Player Stadium, Miami
When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.
TV/Radio: Chs. 2, 7/WBAL (1090 AM)
Line: Florida by 16