Friedgen opens talks on his return

Coach expects to stay despite school's 1st 10-loss season

Yow won't comment

November 30, 2009|By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com

COLLEGE PARK — Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen began discussions Sunday with athletic director Deborah Yow that will determine whether he returns for his 10th season at his alma mater.

Those discussions were expected to continue as soon as today.

Yow has long said she planned to meet with and evaluate Friedgen, 62, when the season was over. Maryland (2-10, 1-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) ended its first 10-loss season with a 19-17 setback to Boston College on Saturday at Byrd Stadium.

Yow is expected to assess the football program as a whole - including wins and losses, bowl-game appearances during Friedgen's tenure, recruiting, and ticket and suite sales.

Friedgen, who told his players after Saturday's game that he hopes and expects to return as football coach next season, has two years remaining on a contract that pays him about $2 million annually.

Friedgen has led the Terps to six bowl games, but his teams have had losing records four times in the past six years. The team's poor record this season and declining ticket sales have prompted some fans to call for a change in leadership. Others, however, have said Friedgen should be given another chance to lead a young Terps team that will be more mature next year.

Looking ahead to next year, Friedgen said after Saturday's game that he had some ideas "both from an offensive and a defensive standpoint that I think could help us. We'll sit down and talk about the whole program."

In particular, Friedgen has indicated he might want to run a new offense - perhaps a variation of the option - that relies on a mobile quarterback. He said such a style wasn't a good fit this season because senior quarterback Chris Turner is a pocket passer.

"Mainly we didn't do it because of Chris," Friedgen said Saturday. "It wasn't his cup of tea."

The jobs of Maryland's assistant coaches also are believed to be under review during the coming days.

In an e-mail reply to The Baltimore Sun, Yow said Sunday that only Friedgen "has the right to discuss with you or anyone else when he and I meet."

She added that Friedgen "is the person you should talk to about any potential staff changes, since those choice[s] belong to the respective head coach in each of our 27" sports.

Friedgen could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Friedgen's top assistants include offensive coordinator James Franklin, who is contractually due to receive $1 million from the school if not named to succeed Friedgen by Jan. 2, 2012. The defensive coordinator, Don Brown, was hired in January. He is the former head coach at Massachusetts.

Baltimore Sun reporter Don Markus contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.