IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We interrupt this otherwise awesome night of basketball to bring you the news of Ralph Friedgen's impending return. It's official, or at least it's officially been said: Kevin Anderson has stated that Maryland's Ralph Friedgen will be coaching the Terrapins next year in 2011.
The news comes from a half-dozen sources, but Terrapin Trail is the only one I've seen with the full press release. Anderson says:
"Based largely on the improved performance of our team and student-athletes this season, Coach Friedgen will be our head football coach next year," Anderson said. "Once this season is complete, Ralph and I will sit down to discuss the current state and future of the program. Right now, the team's focus will be on winning the 2010 ACC Championship and a bowl game, which our coaching staff and student-athletes have put themselves in position to do. We hope our fans, students, and alums will come out and support us in the effort."
Of course, there's nothing contractual here, but going back on his word is something I wouldn't expect Anderson to do. So for all intents and purposes, we know that Friedgen is coming back.
This was by far the most likely outcome and was almost certainly decided after the Virginia win, which guaranteed a winning record. Is it the right one? That's to be determined.
I still need to digest it. The timing of it is mega-weird and making the decision so early is a little screwy - what if Maryland gets blown out in the final three games? what if there's a McNabb let-down? - but more on that later.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled basketball entertainment.