Randy Edsall and Maryland have agreed to a three-year contract extension that could keep Edsall as the football program's head coach through the 2019 season, the school announced Tuesday. The extension includes a buyout (details here).
Maryland signed Edsall to a five-year contract in 2011, which was set to expire after the 2016 season. After going 70-63 across 11 seasons as Connecticut's head coach, Edsall has won 20 of his first 50 games at Maryland. In each of the last two years, though, Edsall has led Maryland to finishes above .500.
Improvement has come slowly, but it's clearly been enough to convince athletic director Kevin Anderson to prevent Edsall from coaching next year as something close to a lame duck.
"Randy has made good strides in our first year in the Big Ten and our program is headed in the right direction," said Kevin Anderson, University of Maryland director of athletics, in a release. "He has established a culture in which our students have made strong progress academically with outstanding graduation rates. We have made progress and we will look to continue to build upon what we have established with our goal of competing at the highest level in the Big Ten."
"I'm extremely proud of the work my players and staff have put in to making our program what it is today," said Edsall in the release. "It is rewarding for me that Kevin Anderson and Dr. Wallace Loh have recognized this process in getting the program headed in the right direction."
The next year figures to be an important one, still, for both Edsall and Maryland's future. The Terps pulled off a decent debut in an underwhelming Big Ten last season, winning road games against Penn State and Michigan but being blown out a handful of times and losing to Rutgers at home. The league figures to be more competitive this year, with Jim Harbaugh taking over at Michigan and James Franklin's core no longer so green at Penn State.
Recruiting, too, has entered a paramount phase for Edsall. The Terps need to hope blue-chip quarterback prospect Dwayne Haskins's commitment starts a wave of local talent deciding to call College Park home. Succeeding in this regard is just as important as whatever on-field results the 2015 season brings, and it's certainly a big reason Edsall has a new deal.
Edsall, with just two years left on his deal, was moving toward a point of serious vulnerability on the recruiting trail. Other schools could pitch to prospects that Edsall was on his way out the door. His new pact with the Terps gives both him and his assistants important recruiting credibility.