Mary­land has slipped to point it had to set­tle for Lock­sley and his bag­gage

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS - By MIKE PRE­STON AP Sports Columnist

BAL­TI­MORE — The hir­ing of Mike Lock­sley as head coach of the Mary­land foot­ball team shows just how far the pro­gram has fallen.

Mary­land isn’t Ohio State, Penn State or Michi­gan, but the Terps should have been able to hire a proven, young, en­er­getic head coach from a school like Maine or Delaware, or a co­or­di­na­tor from a top Divi­sion I pro­gram that had a proven track record as a for­mer head coach.

In­stead, the Terps named Lock­sley, 48, who brings his own bag­gage.

They hired the for­mer New Mex­ico head coach who had a 2-26 record in slightly over two sea­sons lead­ing the Lo­bos and a 1-5 record as Mary­land’s in­terim coach in 2015 af­ter Randy Ed­sall was fired.

On top of that, four games into the 2010 sea­son, Lock­sley was fired at New Mex­ico amid off-field con­tro­ver­sies, in­clud­ing a com­plaint of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and age dis­crim­i­na­tion that was later dropped and a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion with an as­sis­tant coach that re­sulted in 10 days of un­paid leave for Lock­sley.

Mary­land should have been able to do bet­ter than Lock­sley, but no high-pro­file coaches want to come to Col­lege Park.

The Terps should be a start­ing point for some young head coach will­ing to make a name for him­self, but the pro­gram is stuck in a quag­mire af­ter the death of of­fen­sive line­man Jor­dan McNair from heat­stroke in June and the sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the foot­ball pro­gram’s cul­ture.

In all like­li­hood, Lock­sley might have been the school’s only op­tion.

He has the pedi­gree of hav­ing spent the past three years with coach Nick Sa­ban at top-ranked Alabama and was this week named the this year’s Frank Broyles Award win­ner, given an­nu­ally to the na­tion’s top as­sis­tant in the Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion.

Lock­sley also has the rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing a great re­cruiter, but that’s not go­ing to make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence at Mary­land, which

has had four straight los­ing sea­sons. He’ll win some big-name re­cruits, but not enough to make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence. For decades, the Terps have had dreams of be­com­ing a na­tional power that have never come true.

Not only does Mar yland have to com­pete in the pres­ti­gious Big Ten and over­come the dark cloud of the past sev­eral months, but it’s had to ac­cept a coach with Lock­sley’s bag­gage.

Over­all, you wish the Terps could have done bet­ter, but the pro­gram has fallen too far.

AP PHOTO

Mary­land hired Alabama of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mike Lock­sley as its head coach Tues­day, bring­ing home a fa­mil­iar pres­ence af­ter the most tu­mul­tuous year in the pro­gram’s re­cent his­tory.

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