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Under Armour’s CEO asks Maryland fans to support Edsall

Temple v Maryland Getty Images

Outside of lavish (and heavily mocked) new uniforms, Maryland’s 2011 season, its first under new coach Randy Edsall, was a disaster.

Okay, these were a disaster too. 

But, really, the assistant coaching turnover surpassed only by the cartoonish number of players leaving the program was enough to get Edsall marinated, skewered and thrown on an open flame. Turns out, though, Edsall is still getting support from the one place that kept the Terps relevant — or, about as relevant as uniforms can make a school — this past year. Speaking to the Baltimore Sun over the weekend, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said fans of the program need to give Edsall time.

“Randy Edsall is a good, strong, decent man who is working his tail off on behalf of the University of Maryland,” Plank said. “And there are more people who want to spend their days burning things down than building it up. At least just stop rooting against him. You know, give the guy a chance.

“I don’t speak for the university, but he’s our coach. He’s our coach and we should get behind him and support him.”

The problem is Edsall hasn’t been accepted since he first stepped onto the College Park campus. That opposition was escalated by the fact that the Terps went 2-10 last season, the same record Maryland had in 2009 under former coach Ralph Friedgen before he turned things around in 2010 and was named ACC Coach of the Year. Still, that wasn’t enough; Maryland needed a new image, a new direction to put butts in the stands of Byrd Stadium.

Which leads me to the point many had a year and a half ago: Maryland replaced Ralph Friedgen… with Randy Edsall. At the risk of sounding like a complete hick, giving Edsall the keys to Maryland’s new image is like putting a restrictor plate on a stock car. That’s not to say Edsall isn’t a good coach — I don’t believe you take any team, let alone UConn, to a BCS bowl without being pretty darn good at your job — but he’s not the right fit for what the Terps need right now.

Unless Edsall starts winning while his teams average 40 points a game, he’s not going to get the chance Plank says he deserves.

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6 Responses to “Under Armour’s CEO asks Maryland fans to support Edsall”
  1. udub says: Jun 11, 2012 7:55 PM

    Not that Under Armour has too much influence over Maryland already, now they are trying to prop the coach up? Lame

  2. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 11, 2012 10:02 PM

    Kevin Plank and UnderArmour will have to go quite some more before they ever overtake Philip Knight and Nike in their support of Oregon. I would recommend to Plank to improve the practice facilities, expand the stadium, and invest more in coaching staff. “Build it and they will come.”

    It’s their money, but as udub posted, that money does buy influence, or at least access.

  3. Pac12Ute says: Jun 12, 2012 4:04 AM

    Kudos to Plank for standing up against the masses demanding the next best thing after ONE season! Just looking at Friedgren’s record, he had 3 good years with someone else’s recruits when he started, then he became average to below average over the next 7 seasons. He was 44-42 over that span of time. Maryland gave the guy a chance and he didn’t make a difference until one foot was already in the grave. Too little too late.

    I sincerely hope that Maryland doesn’t pull the RichRod – Michigan “You aren’t one of us” act because they don’t have the same type of atmosphere, prestige, or history as Michigan did to back it’s claim. You bought that coach, so stick with him for the contract you gave him and stop looking for the next best thing.

  4. jimbo75025 says: Jun 12, 2012 4:07 AM

    In other words, UM allowed the Under Armour CEO to pick their coach and he is not going to give up on him yet-unlike most of the players.

    Edsall may be a good man, but so was Friedgen who also bled the school colors. Letting him go was a huge mistake but seems Maryland got delusions of grandeur.

  5. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 12, 2012 7:47 AM


    That is a kind way of putting it. I agree. I had enough to deal with the UnderArmour new unis which often either made me laugh or cringe, but went along with it because I was told by the football department that the young men loved the new unis.

    You are right. Give Edsall some more time. It was so sad to see Friedgen go. I thought maybe they could improve some facilities (practice, stadium, dorms, etc.) and attract a higher caliber athlete? Pay a little more to the assistants and maybe get some high caliber coaches? That is what other schools have done when they wanted to improve their programs to a higher level. Plank and UnderArmour could help with all that.

  6. dkhhuey says: Jun 12, 2012 4:39 PM

    Anybody who’s company crafted those hideous uniforms should be ignored immediately! Uff.

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