Maryland just concluded its introductory press conference for new head football coach Randy Edsall. There was a lot of information in there and I thought the best way to describe it would be in highlight bullets:
- Several of the coaches were in attendance, including Danny O'Brien.
, as well as players, including
- Anderson started off by thanking Friedgen for all of his work and for laying the foundation that they want to build on. Seemed very much like "sorry we had to fire you, but thanks for your help!" Seemed like an attempt to win back some of the Ralph backers who are still mad about his firing.
- Anderson also articulated that this was his hire and his decision. He thanked the search committee and President Loh and Kirwan, but said the final decision was his alone.
- has known Edsall for a long time and it seems he's wanted to be able to hire him well before he was AD at Maryland.
- Edsall also mentioned Ralph to start off, saying they were friends from working together at Ga. Tech. "I'm extremely proud to follow Ralph Friedgen."
- Edsall described Maryland as his "dream job", saying the first collegiate game he ever attended was at Byrd against Villanova. He also attended Lefty Driesell's basketball camp for four years.
- Seems like a big discipline guy. He put on a Terps hat that KA gave him but took it off five minutes later, saying that when he met with his players, he asked the ones wearing hats and do-rags to take them off.
- When asked about his staff, he declined to mention names but said some would come from UConn, some from MD, and some from elsewhere.
- When asked what "greatness" would look like in terms of success and how long it would take to get there, Kevin Anderson said competing for ACC and National titles within the next 3-5 years.
- When asked about the search process, Anderson said they wanted to interview someone else in person, but they refused to come to campus. They interviewed Leach and Anderson said it went well, but he wanted to wait and interview Edsall before making a final decision.
- Edsall was a pretty straight shooter in the q&a portion but did make a few jokes, including pointing out that his brother, Duke Edsall has had some run-ins with Gary as an NCAA basketball official. He also joked with a reporter from Connecticut.
- Edsall did a great job speaking, in my opinion. He got me on board. He has a lot of passion and wants to win. But Anderson and Edsall both emphasized making players good students and people as well as athletes.
- Edsall said that they want to schedule better non-conference foes, but would refuse to do a 2-1 deal, specifically when talking about Penn State. "We're the University of Maryland. We're not playing any stinkin' two-for-ones."
- Kevin Anderson did a good job avoiding some tough questions, including when Chick Hernandez asked about the similar record that Edsall had to Ralph Friedgen.
Overall, I think Edsall did a great job. I really hope this is his "dream" job and not a stepping stone. If it is, I think it will be good for Maryland. If they can go out and market this program over the next eight months, it will be interesting to see what the attendance is like for that first home game.
Anderson still seems awkward behind the mic. He avoided a lot of questions when asked but was very passionate when talking about Edsall. If you get a chance to check out the presser, I'd recommend it. I wanted Leach, but after hearing Edsall, I'm definitely behind him. Not sure about Anderson yet though.
Anderson and Edsall have set the bar - competing for a National Title in the next 3-5 years. That means 8-4 seasons won't cut it. I will be interesting to see what this team does next year and what the bar is for "success." Is anything short of the ACC Title Game or winning the ACC a failure?
Anderson mentioned that he spoke with the players and they all described wanting a coach that Anderson claimed described Edsall. It sounds like the players are on board. And several of them are probably happy that it's Edsall and not Leach, considering Leach didn't really use full backs and tight ends.
Overall, I think Edsall is a good coach but I also think he's a good salesman. And I think Maryland definitely needs that moving forward. I'm not sure if Leach would bring that to the table or not. Edsall is going to have to win back a lot of the fan base and reassure them that he was the right hire. Winning will do that, but so will getting out there and speaking to the public.
What were your thoughts? Good? Bad? Indifferent? I'm definitely more pro-Edsall than I was pre-press conference.