Gattuso, Johnson, Walker and Wilson join Terps football coaching staff

January 10, 2011|By From Sun staff reports

COLLEGE PARK — Maryland football coach Randy Edsall announced Monday that Greg Gattuso, Lyndon Johnson, David Walker and Andrew Wilson have joined the staff.

Gattuso will oversee the defensive line, Johnson will instruct the special teams unit, as well as tutoring the outside linebackers, Walker will handle running backs and Wilson will serve as the strength and conditioning coach.

Gattuso, the former head coach of Duquesne, spent the past six seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. The Panthers were one of the top sack producers in the nation the last two years.

Brandon Lindsey (10.0) and Jabaal Sheard (9.0) both ranked in the top 20 nationally in sacks during the 2010 regular season and Pittsburgh led the nation in that category in 2009 (3.6 per game).

Gattuso initially joined the Pitt staff as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. In his first season, he helped the Panthers sign a recruiting class rated 10th in the nation by Scout.com. He played under coach Joe Paterno on Penn State's 1982 national championship.

Walker also spent the past six seasons at the Big East school, where he coached some of the top running backs in the nation.

LeSean McCoy, now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, was a major beneficiary of Walker's tutelage. In two seasons at Pitt, he rushed for 2,816 yards and scored 36 touchdowns.

The 2008 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, McCoy ranked tied for second in the nation in scoring (9.7 points per game) and 10th in rushing (114.5 yards per game) that year. He finished with 1,488 yards, becoming only the third Panthers back to achieve multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Dion Lewis has carried on the tradition, averaging 138.4 yards per game in 2009 en route to earning National Freshman of the Year honors by Sporting News and CBSSports.com. He rushed for 956 yards and 12 TDs in 2010.

Johnson was on Edsall's staff at Connecticut, serving in a variety of roles. The UConn graduate coached tight ends and special teams his first three seasons (1999-2001) before handling the outside linebackers his final nine years. He also coached special teams from 2005 through 2010.

The Huskies were ninth in the FBS in kickoff returns in 2009 (25.8 yards per return), and Robert McClain ranked 18th nationally in punt returns (12.6 yards per return).

Johnson had the top kick returner in the nation this past season in Nick Williams who averaged 35.3 yards per attempt and had two touchdowns.

Wilson also worked under Edsall the past five seasons, designing and implementing a strength and conditioning program for the Huskies football team.

Over the past three years, eight players who worked under Wilson's tutelage were selected in the NFL draft, including Donald Brown, a 2009 first-round choice by the Indianapolis Colts.

Note: Danny O'Brien was named a Freshman All-American by the The Football Writers Association of America. He ended the season with 2,438 passing yards, which is seventh in Atlantic Coast Conference history among freshmen and 10th on the Maryland single-season list. His 22 touchdown passes are second on the Maryland single-season chart.

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