New Maryland football coach Randy Edsall might have found a way to silence the skeptics who thought he'd been bringing a conservative offense from Connecticut to College Park.
Edsall could be in the process of hiring LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.
Crowton, whose wide-open offensive philosphy helped the Tigers win a BCS national championship in his first season in Baton Rouge, told the Shreveport Times Wednesday night that he was offered a three-year contract after an interview earlier in the day. Crowton said the offer was for $500,000 a year, a little more than he was making at LSU.
"When I went up there, they offered me a lot of money," said Crowton, who has one year remaining on a reported $475,000 a year deal with the Tigers. "And when I agreed to be interviewed [a few days ago], I wasn't quite sure what [LSU coach Les] Miles was going to do."
Miles had been a candidate for the Michigan job for the second time in three years and again decided to remain in Baton Rouge. Crowton was also reportedly on his way out, according to numerous reports in Louisiana. Crowton said that he was going to talk with his family before making a decision.
Crowton's ties to Edsall go back to the early '90s when they worked together under Tom Coughlin at Boston College. Crowton has worked previously in the ACC, at Georgia Tech for one season (1994). He spent two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears and was a head coach at Brigham Young (2001-2004).
Crowton, 53, came to Baton Rouge from Oregon at the end of the 2006 season when Jimbo Fisher left his position as LSU offensive coordinator to become coach-in-waiting at Florida State. In 2007, the Tigers won the national championship while setting school records for scoring and overall offense with fifth-year senior Matt Flynn. But he has struggled to develop quarterbacks since Flynn left, and Jordan Jefferson has been a huge disappointment.
The Tigers were 112th in total offense in 2009 and 107th in passing offense in 2010. Crowton came under fire this year when his late-game substitution — and Miles' clock management issues — nearly cost LSU a game against Tenneseee.
The Terps finished 80th in the county in offense last season under James Franklin, who left to take the head coaching job at Vanderbilt, but Crowton would be inheriting ACC Freshman of the Year Danny O'Brien at quarterback, talented running backs D.J. Adams and Davin Meggett as well as several quality receivers.
Edsall, who has been in College Park the past few days and is expected to hit the road to recruit starting Saturday, could not be reached for comment.
"We might have something in a couple of days," athletic department spokesman Shawn Nestor said Wednesday night. "Stay tuned."