We saw this year just how important offensive line play is for a college football team. After not renewing Tom Brattan's contract, Maryland has an opening at the vital position of O-Line coach. This is a great opportunity for the Terps to upgrade the coaching staff heading into the B1G, a conference long known for its play in the trenches.
Here is a quick list of potential names to look for:
Spencer Folau, offensive line coach, McDonogh School
The former Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins offensive lineman is currently coaching the O-Line at McDonogh High School in Charles County. The only connections to the university are that he played for both local professional teams and coaches the position 40 miles south. Folau also coaches recently decommitted Maryland O-Line recruit Jared Cohen at McDonogh. Obviously you don't hire for a position as important as O-Line coach to get a 3/4 star recruit like Cohen, and he has only been a coach at any level for a few years, so it would be a risk, but a former pro with a Super Bowl ring to throw around is intriguing.
Mike Foley, offensive line/tight ends coach, UConn
No, not Mick Foley, the beloved WWE wrestler and noted beardsmen. Foley was hired by Randy Edsall while he was the Huskies' head coach, and with the coaching turnover there it might be good timing for both parties. This wouldn't be a big name hire, but he did have some pretty good offensive lines during his tenure. Behind his lines, Donald Brown led the nation with over 2,083 rushing yards in 2008 and Jordan Todman tallied over 1,500 yards in 2010. Foley also coached 2nd round pick and current New York Giants starter Will Beatty.
John Strollo, tight ends coach, Penn State
Strollo has been the tight ends coach at Penn State for the last two seasons, but has coached offensive lines at other schools. He's been a coach for over 35 years, with stops at Northeastern, UMass, Lafayette, Cornell, Maine, Duke, Elon and Ball State before being hired by Bill O'Brien. While at PSU he has recruited and developed some very good tight ends, including being the point man in the recruitment of former 4 star tight end and Maryland target Adam Breneman. With the probable coaching changes at PSU, Strollo might be looking for a change of scenery and potential coaching promotion.
Andrew Crummey, unknown
Crummey played in the NFL for three seasons, including stints with the Redskins, Bengals, Texans, Panthers and Jaguars but is not currently on an NFL roster. Basically just insert any other former Maryland player here. It's worth mentioning for every one of these vacancies, a la Juan Dixon, because that's an easy direction to go in for both the former players and program.
Pat Hill, unemployed
Hill was recently fired as the Atlanta Falcon's O-Line coach and has been a coach for almost 40 years. There is no real connection to Maryland but this is the kind of top-notch hire that could perk up recruit's ears. He was only the Falcon's O-Line coach for one season but for the 15 seasons prior Hill was the head coach at Fresno State University, compiling a record of 112-80. While at Fresno State he coached future Patriot Pro Bowler Logan Mankins, Charger running back Ryan Matthews and Cardinals safety James Sanders.
Mike Tice, unknown
Here's the big one. The Whale. The Maryland alumnus' name was mentioned as a potential head coach candidate after Ralph Friedgen was fired, and would be about the best possible hire the Terps could make. Tice is a former Maryland quarterback, 14-year NFL tight end, NFL tight end/offensive line coach and NFL head coach. Most recently he served as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator in 2012 after two years as the Bears' O-Line coach. I have no idea if he would accept a college offensive line coach position, but it would be an incredible addition to the staff.
This is obviously not a complete list and we have no inside information of where staff will be looking. Are there any other names that come to mind? Feel free to discuss in the comments.