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Maryland football adds John Papuchis, Cory Robinson to coaching staff, per report

The Terps have filled two more spots on Mike Locksley’s staff

Maryland football Mike Locksley press conference Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

New Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley has added former North Carolina defensive coordinator John Papuchis and Rutgers defensive backs coach Cory Robinson to his staff, according to InsideMdSports’ Jeff Ermann.

Papuchis is expected to serve as Maryland’s special teams coordinator and linebackers coach, while Robinson will reportedly coach defensive backs. These roles were filled by Matt Barnes and Azaar Abdul-Rahim last year, and while their departures haven’t been officially announced, this puts them in doubt.

It’s a homecoming for both coaches. Papuchis, 40, hails from Gaithersburg and graduated from Quince Orchard High School, while Robinson, 31, is a Baltimore native who served as Maryland’s director of player personnel in 2015.

Papuchis comes in after two years as North Carolina’s defensive coordinator; he was part of the staff turnover after Larry Fedora’s firing. In a previous tenure at Nebraska, Papuchis was named a finalist for FootballScoop’s Special Teams Coordinator of the Year honor. He also served as the Huskers’ national recruiting coordinator under Bo Pelini. The Tar Heels hired Papuchis as linebackers coach in 2015 and promoted him to defensive coordinator in 2017.

Before entering the college coaching ranks, Robinson co-founded the Baltimore-based Next Level Nation traveling football program. After leaving Maryland, he spent one season each at Toledo, Temple and Rutgers. Robinson served as the Scarlet Knights’ passing game coordinator in addition to defensive backs coach, which is certainly an odd combination. If he is indeed replacing Abdul-Rahim, he’ll add Baltimore recruiting connections to Locksley’s elite DMV recruiting chops.

Ermann reported Monday night that Butch Jones will join the staff as tight ends coach and associate head coach. FootballScoop reported Tuesday morning that Jones’ hire is not technically finalized, but is all but a done deal. That same report indicated Maryland is expected to hire DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks to an assistant coaching role.