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Maryland football special teams coordinator John Papuchis headed to Florida State

The Terps have their first major coaching change of the offseason.

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Charleston Southern at Florida State Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Maryland football special teams coordinator and inside linebackers coach John Papuchis is headed to Florida State, the team announced earlier this week.

“I am truly honored to be part of Coach [Mike] Norvell’s staff and to be part of the Florida State family,” Papuchis said in the press release. “Florida State is one of those special places in college football with such a rich tradition, and I look forward to being part of a new era.”

Papuchis had been on head coach Mike Locksley’s staff for just one year — joining the Terps after previously working at North Carolina. Now, he’ll be the special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach for the Seminoles.

During his time at Maryland, the program led the Big Ten in return touchdowns with two kickoffs and one punt returned for a score. Running back Javon Leake was also named the 2019 Rodgers-Dwight Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year.

This marks the second time in three offseasons that a Maryland coordinator has moved on to Florida State, as Walt Bell left his post as offensive coordinator of the Terps for the same position on Willie Taggart’s staff. He since left Tallahassee and finished his first season as the head coach of UMass.

Papuchis was thought to be a key hire by Locksley due to his past experience as a defensive coordinator for Nebraska and North Carolina. He was also thought to be a potential player in local recruiting as he hails from Gaithersburg, Maryland and was a graduate of Quince Orchard High School. However, he was not listed as a primary recruiter for any player in the 2020 class.

This news comes at the tail-end of the early signing period for class of 2020 recruits, where Maryland signed 23 players. Any shifts in the coaching staff were likely to come after this period so that it had as minimal of an impact on recruiting as possible.