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