It was a bounceback year for the University of Maryland football team. They went from 2-10 to 8-4 and qualified for a bowl game and coach Ralph Friedgen won his 2nd ACC Coach of the Year award. Now he's about to be forced out?
Sources are reporting that in the wake of OC James Franklin accepting the head coaching job at Vanderbilt, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson is going to ask Friedgen to take a buyout and retire instead of coming back as basically a lame duck coach in 2011 (the last year of a contract that the school does not intend on extending). It seems that Friedgen pushing for a contract extension has rubbed Anderson the wrong way, and now that he has been relieved of the burden of a "coach in waiting" (something he came out as being very much against when he first took the job), he is going to make this team his own.
Rumors swirl that the leading candidates if Friedgen is in fact forced out (shades of Davey Johnson in 1997?) are Tyrone Willingham (formerly of Notre Dame and Washington), Mike Locksley (currently head coach of New Mexico), and (to me the most intriguing candidate) former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.
The Terps have a bowl game in less than 2 weeks so this is not exactly coming at an opportune time, and this could get really messy. Stay tuned for further developments.