Canada in­ter­views for Mary­land open­ing

Terps fin­ished tu­mul­tuous sea­son with 5-7 mark; Alabama OC Lock­sley ex­pected to get a look

Cecil Whig - - NATIONAL & LOCAL SPORTS -

— Matt Canada, who served as the Mary­land foot­ball team’s in­terim coach this past sea­son, in­ter­viewed for the job ear­lier this week, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion.

Alabama of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mike Lock­sley is ex­pected to in­ter­view for the job af­ter the Crim­son Tide plays in the SEC cham­pi­onship game in At­lanta on Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple peo­ple close to the pro­gram. It was not im­me­di­ately clear if a date has been set for Lock­sley’s in­ter­view.

The in­ter­views are be­ing con­ducted by the At­lanta-based Parker Ex­ec­u­tive Search, the firm con­tracted by Mary­land to help with the process.

Canada and the Terps fin­ished the sea­son with a 5-7 over­all record, 3-6 in the Big Ten, de­spite nearly con­stant chaos sur­round­ing the pro­gram af­ter the June death of of­fen­sive line­man Jor­dan McNair as a re­sult of heat stroke suf­fered dur­ing a team work­out. The univer­sity fired DJ Durkin as head coach on Oct. 31, 2 1/2 months af­ter it placed him on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave.

Canada earned more than $1.1 mil­lion this past sea­son as Mary­land’s in­terim coach. As the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, he was set to make $650,000 an­nu­ally; once he was named as Durkin’s in­terim re­place­ment, Canada re­ceived an ad­di­tional $155,000 for his first 30 days in that role and then $135,000 for each 30-day pe­riod that fol­lowed, ac­cord­ing to an amend­ment

(WPNS)

to his con­tract ob­tained by The Wash­ing­ton Post through an open-records re­quest.

Canada’s con­tract as of fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor ex­tends through the 2020 sea­son, so if he is not re­tained by Mary­land could be owed $900,000 over the next two years. How­ever, his con­tract states that if he be­gins an­other coach­ing or con­sult­ing job, the amount he makes from his new em­ployer would be sub­tracted from what Mary­land owes him each pe­riod.

Lock­sley, a Wash­ing­ton na­tive, pre­vi­ously worked at Mary­land as the run­ning backs coach from 1997 to 2002 and again as of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor from 2012 to 2015. He served six games as the team’s in­terim coach in 2015 af­ter the fir­ing of Randy Ed­sall, fin­ish­ing the year with a 1-5 record.

Af­ter that sea­son, how­ever, Mar yland passed over Lock­sley for the per­ma­nent job in fa­vor of Durkin. Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Da­mon Evans, who at the time was the ath­letic de­part­ment’s sec­ond-in­com­mand, was part of that search com­mit­tee.

Be­cause of Lock­sley’s lo­cal ties and suc­cess re­cruit­ing in this area, the coach has sup­port from many stake­hold­ers, but in his only other head-coach­ing stint, at New Mex­ico, he had a 2-26 record and mul­ti­ple off-the-field is­sues.

In May 2009, a for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant at New Mex­ico filed an age and sex dis­crim­i­na­tion com­plaint against Lock­sley with the Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Matt Canada and the Terps fin­ished the sea­son with a 5-7 over­all record, 3-6 in the Big Ten, de­spite nearly con­stant chaos sur­round­ing the pro­gram af­ter the June death of of­fen­sive line­man Jor­dan McNair as a re­sult of heat stroke suf­fered dur­ing a team work­out.

Com­mis­sion. The claim was later with­drawn. Lock­sley was also sus­pended for 10 days with­out pay in Septem­ber 2009 for punch­ing one of his as­sis­tant coaches.

New Mex­ico strug­gled to a pair of 1-11 fin­ishes in his first two sea­sons. His tur­bu­lent ten­ure hit a low-point early in his third sea­son, when a 19-year-old friend of Lock­sley’s son was charged with sus­pi­cion of driv­ing while in­tox­i­cated in a car that

was reg­is­tered to Lock­sley’s son and wife. Hours later, the team suf­fered an ugly loss to lower-di­vi­sion Sam Hous­ton State to fall to 0-4. Lock­sley was fired the next morn­ing.

Other pos­si­ble can­di­dates for the open­ing at Mary­land in­clude Ohio State of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Ryan Day, Ge­or­gia de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mel Tucker, Troy coach Neal Brown, Bay­lor coach Matt Rhule, South Florida coach Char­lie

Strong and Van­der­bilt coach Derek Ma­son. Like Lock­sley, Tucker and Day are also coach­ing in con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship games this week­end.

The early sign­ing pe­riod for foot­ball re­cruits be­gins on Dec. 19, and Mary­land cur­rently has only eight mem­bers in its 2019 sign­ing class. Mary­land’s group ranks 86th in the coun­try and last in the Big Ten, ac­cord­ing to 247 Sports.

AP PHOTO

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