Over the coming weeks and months, the Maryland football program will search for a new head coach to replace the departed Randy Edsall. We know (roughly) who the candidates are, but who should Maryland pick? We'll state every coach's case, whether he wants the job or not, in 500 words or fewer.
Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette head coach
Possibility scale: 3/10
Mark Hudspeth is a former collegiate quarterback, playing the position at Division II Delta State, graduating in 1991. He would bounce around as a graduate assistant and position coach until becoming the offensive coordinator at his alma mater in 1999. He would be the OC at Delta State for two seasons, before being hired as the OC at Navy in 2001. He would only be in Annapolis for one season before accepting the head coaching job at North Alabama.
At UNA, Hudspeth won 10 or more games on five occasions, and over his final four seasons was 44-8. He guided the Lions to three NCAA Division II Semifinal berths and two further Quarterfinal berths. He accumulated a 66-21 mark over seven seasons before moving on to become the Wide Receivers Coach and Passing Game Coordinator for Dan Mullen at Mississippi State in 2009.
His stint with the Bulldogs would be for two seasons before he nabbed his first Division I FBS coaching job at Louisiana-Lafayette in 2011, where he reeled off four straight nine win seasons and bowl wins - full disclosure: all the wins from ULL's 2011 season have been vacated. More on that later.
It would not be a stretch to say that Hudspeth has performed miracles at Lafayette. In the previous 15 years before he got there, the Ragin Cajuns had one winning seasons. He had four in his first four seasons. There have been 19 winning seasons in the history of the program - which started in 1970; Hudspeth has over 20% of them. The most wins in any four year span for the program was 25. They won 36 from 2011-2014. No one has ever won as much as Hudspeth has at ULL, and to be quite honest no one should.
His recruiting chops aren't bad either. He's pulled in the #1 recruiting class in the Sun Belt conference three times, and has often recruited players from all across the South, in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.
So, yeah. Back to that whole NCAA thing. A former assistant coach under Hudspeth, David Saunders, was accused by the NCAA of exam fraud and providing recruits with payments for educational and living expenses. You can't do that. An NCAA investigation said that a player believed that Saunders changed his ACT score and those of others on the Louisiana-Lafayette team. Hudspeth hasn't been directly linked himself, but ULL did vacate all wins from their 2011 season, put itself on probation, docked 11 scholarships from now until the end of the 2017-18 season and has limited recruiting opportunities. Even if it turns out that Hudspeth didn't know and is all clean, you may not want to hire a coach with that looming over him. Just look at the Donnie Tyndall mess at Tennessee.
Hudspeth also lacks a real connection to the area beyond his one year at Navy. Almost all of his coaching has come in the South and that's where he's had his recruiting successes, through the connections he's made there. That probably wouldn't translate to Maryland.
And while for some this wouldn't be a problem at all, with said connections in the South and experience coaching there, if he was to have success at Maryland I'd put the chances of Hudspeth bolting for a really good SEC job at pretty good.
In one sentence
Hudspeth has had incredible success at Louisiana-Lafeyette and could make sense for Maryland, but with an NCAA scandal hanging over and no real coaching experience outside the South, it would be a surprise to see him as a Terps target.