Is Randy Edsall the Right Fit For His ‘Dream Job’?
Despite the early rumors Mike Leach was going to succeed Ralph Friedgen at Maryland, the Terrapins announced on Sunday they had hired Randy Edsall as the program’s next head coach. Edsall spent the previous 12 seasons at UConn and built their program from scratch leading them from Division I-AA into the Big East and eventually to the Fiesta Bowl. While in Storrs, his teams won a pair of conference titles and went to a bowl game the past four seasons. He has earned praise for setting up UConn on a successful path and for the academic success of his players. Despite what he did at UConn, Maryland faithful are upset with his hiring because he never won better than eight games in his 12 seasons as head coach. His teams thrive upon running the ball, playing good defense and special teams, perhaps not the healthiest fit for a school that wants to boost its attendance and fill up those empty luxury suites, but they can’t please everyone. Randy Edsall joined ESPN 980 in DC to talk about why Maryland is his dream job, what one or two challenges he is going to have while at Maryland, and what he would say to the portion of fans who are upset with the way Ralph Friedgen was fired and his hiring to succeed him.
Why Maryland is his dream job:
“Well first of all, I grew up 70 miles from the campus and as a young man our father brought us down to our first football game here and went to camp here and it was really the school that I followed growing up. I wasn’t good enough to get recruited here so I went to Syracuse but it was just one of those things and I always was a Maryland person and you know whether it was listening to games, watching them, whether it was football or basketball that was the kind of team I grew up with because I wasn’t a Penn State fan, you know always on Oriole fan and Colt fan and things, and then Maryland. That is really what it was and then as you get into the profession you get into the profession and you are recruiting and you know this area and you know that there is a variety of players and good players, from a recruiting standpoint is one of those things that you say, hey that is a job that at some point in time in my career I would like to be a head coach… That is really a dream of mine to be here because like I said I grew up on.”
What one or two challenges he is going to have while at Maryland:
“Every job has a challenge but what we have got to do is we have got to go out and recruit the best possible student-athletes that we have here at the University of Maryland and I think the other thing that you have to do is you have to go out and be active in the community to grow the fan base and get the fans to come out and to support these young men who are working extremely hard to be the best they can be. I think those are the things that you want to. There is always going to be some facility things you are looking for and you know the one thing you want to do is have an indoor facility, which is what we had talked about, but I think the biggest thing is go out and recruit and getting involved with the high school coaches and everybody here in this…”
Whether he feels like he has to sell himself to Maryland fans:
“I just got to get out and be visible so people know who I am. That is what it is. Like I said, I think that the body of work that I put out there, I have won every place I have been. The big thing is about winning. It is not about style points, it is about winning, and so again, all I want to do is let people know who I am and what the program is going to be like and how we are going to go about our business.”
What he would say to the portion of fans who are upset with the way Ralph Friedgen was fired and his hiring to succeed him:
“I know Ralph and Ralph and I had worked together down at Georgia Tech and anytime decisions are made you are never going to please everybody that is not going to happen. I think the big things is this, these are the decisions that are made and this is what happens in life and what we have to remember is we are here supporting the University of Maryland. That is what we are supporting is the University of Maryland, you know its football program. My biggest thing is this, is that we are going to go out and we are going to put the best product on the field that we possibly can and when I first went to the University of Connecticut we had no fanbase and we developed a fanbase of 40,000 and that is what the stadium holds. Again, we did that by just going out and being in the community talking to people and being visible and spreading the word. As I said we won games and you know we did things and that is how you have to do it. To me that is grassroots. It is just going out there and getting it done and talking to people and letting people see what your vision is and see how passionate you are about it, and like I said, when people see that passion they see that energy and see the excitement about it, I think that gets people seeing the same way.”