COLLEGE PARK — Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said Monday that he wants to return to the sideline and that "I would talk to Maryland" about the vacancy being created by the buyout of Terps coach Ralph Friedgen, but the school has not contacted him yet.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson told The Baltimore Sun that, while Leach is on his list of candidates and he is researching his credentials, there is no front-runner.
Anderson is interested enough in Leach — he called him "cerebral" — that he has begun to gather such information as the graduation rates of Leach's former players. But Anderson said he has never met Leach or contacted him and indicated that much more information would be required before any candidate was placed at the top of Maryland's list.
"He's not a leading candidate," said Anderson, the former Army athletic director who began at Maryland on Oct. 1. "I know a lot of people who just went through the coaching search, and they sat down and they talked to him. And these are people in my business that I have a high regard for. At the end of the day, they didn't hire him. But you know what? I need to know [more]."
Anderson did not identify which colleagues he was referring to. Leach's name surfaced recently in connection with the Miami job, which went to former Temple coach Al Golden.
Leach said of Maryland, "I would look at it and see what their goals and objectives are."
Leach was interviewed by Jack Arute and The Baltimore Sun on SIRIUS XM's "College Football Playbook." Leach and Arute host the show.
"A lot of rumors going around," Leach said. "I haven't talked to anybody at Maryland. And, of course, Ralph's still employed there. Unless something changes, I don't expect to hear from them. It's a great place; it's kind of one of the centers of this country. Good media base, great conference. Exciting place. But up to this point, they haven't contacted me."
A few hours after Leach's comments, Maryland formally announced that Friedgen would not return next season.
Told afterward that Leach might be interested in Maryland, Anderson said: "Is he interested because it's Maryland or is he interested because he wants to get back in coaching? I want somebody here because it is Maryland and what it stands for and everything else. I'm not looking for somebody who wants to come in and coach because they want and need a job."
Leach said he has long known he wanted to coach again.
"I always figured I would. I don't know if it will be this year or next year. But I've always planned to," he said.
Leach was fired last year from Texas Tech after allegations he mistreated a player. Leach denied the claims and filed suit against the school over his firing and other issues.