Maryland’s newest football coach has had a busy week, but Mike Locksley took a break from staff filling and recruiting to stop by last night’s men’s basketball game.
The Terps punished Loyola (Md.) 94-71, creating real distance in the second half. Six players scored in double figures, and a 19-0 run left the Greyhounds waiting for the bus. Before that, though, Locksley dropped in at halftime and spent a minute with the crowd.
“Every time I get tired, I pinch myself and tell myself I’m the head coach of the University of Maryland Football Terrapins!” - @CoachLocks#LOCKedIn pic.twitter.com/tNny0TFNNz— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) December 12, 2018
Locksley’s speech touched on plenty of the same themes from his introductory press conference Thursday. Here’s the transcript:
“I can’t tell you guys how great it feels to be home. It’s been a whirlwind three or four days, and every time I get tired, I pinch myself and I tell myself that I’m the head coach of the University of Maryland football Terrapins. It feels great. I can’t wait to have you guys at Maryland Stadium at Capital One Field supporting us. I’m so excited about this team. I can’t tell you how proud I was of this team for the fight, the resiliency, the mental toughness they showed all season long. And we’ve got a great, great foundation to build on, and I’m excited about leading that charge. Thank you guys so much, I’m so happy to be home. Go Terps.
Locksley will be in College Park continuing to meet with players, fill his staff and recruit until Thursday, when he’ll rejoin Alabama to prepare for the College Football Playoff. The crowd that greeted him at the Xfinity Center on the night before final exams was sparse, but at least one person was happy to see him Tuesday night.
“It was good to see Mike Locksley back home,” men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “I got to know Mike really well when he was here as an assistant coach. So, I’m happy for him, he’s got a great opportunity.”
So far on Locksley’s staff for next year are Butch Jones, John Papuchis and Cory Robinson. Maryland is also expected to hire DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks as an assistant, but nothing is official on that front. Not much is currently known about the fate of last season’s assistants, but signs are pointing closer to a clean house than a coaching crossover with the new regime.
Maryland has a week until the early signing period to boost its 2019 class from just eight members, and Locksley will lead the charge on that end.
In other news
Before the game, the arena observed a moment of silence for the five journalists killed in the shooting at the Capital Gazette in June. The late John McNamara was honored with flowers at his reserved seat on press row.
Always with us. pic.twitter.com/fucZD4VK0i— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) December 12, 2018
The Terps got plenty of solid contributions last night, but Serrel Smith Jr.’s first-half explosion off the bench may be among the most promising.
Here are Lila’s best shots from the night.
Also from the Loyola game, probably the best Karaoke Cam of the season:
SINCE U BEEN GONE— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) December 12, 2018
"Mom please sto-"
I CAN BREATHE FOR THE FIRST TIME pic.twitter.com/4b5DQ7SzdE
Locksley’s first Big Ten game as Maryland’s coach won’t take place on a Saturday, with the 2019 conference opener against Penn State moved to Friday night.
Locksley has already met with quarterbacks Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill and they’re apparently all on board. Hill likely won’t be ready by the season opener, but his second ACL recovery is reportedly ahead of schedule.
Former Terps goalie Zack Steffen is doing big things. He’s heading to the Premier League, getting transferred from the Columbus Crew to Manchester City once the summer window opens in July, from The Washington Post.
Men’s soccer assistant coach Jake Pace had about the best Sunday anyone could ask for. Shortly after the Terps sealed the deal on the national title, Pace got engaged.
Did anyone have a better Sunday than our guy @JakePace_20?— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) December 11, 2018
We’d say no.
Within hours: Wins his first Natty and gets engaged to his longtime girlfriend Meagan. Congrats!! pic.twitter.com/5h5yOYqCEQ