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.
Pep Hamilton, former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator
Possibility scale: 6/10
The Colts fired Hamilton as their offensive coordinator on Tuesday night. That's not a terrific endorsement, but it's probably best to focus on a broader picture. Hamilton played quarterback in Washington at Howard, then spent a few seasons on its offensive staff after college. He was an NFL assistant from 2003 to 2006 with the Jets, Bears and 49ers, splitting his duties between quality control, receivers and quarterbacks. He spent 2010 to 2012 at Stanford, including two years as the Cardinal's offensive coordinator and QBs coach under David Shaw after Jim Harbaugh headed to the NFL.
Hamilton took his job as the Colts' coordinator for 2013, shepherding Andrew Luck through two of the more impressive seasons by a young quarterback in recent memory. He'd previously worked with Luck in Palo Alto. Last year, Indianapolis was No. 3 in total offense with more than 400 yards per game and No. 1 in passing offense. But this year's been terrible, and Hamilton is now looking for a job.
Hamilton knows this area and knows Maryland interim coach Mike Locksley. One item not on Hamilton's short-form resume is "New Mexico offensive coordinator, 2010," and that's because Hamilton agreed to work under Locksley there but left to join Harbaugh's Stanford staff before the season had even started. But Hamilton has a connection to Locksley, and Locksley is a recruiting asset Maryland would be well-served to keep involved in some way. In this sense, Hamilton could stand out as a fit.
There's also the point that Hamilton helped bring along a pro-style quarterback, Luck, both at Stanford and Indianapolis. Maryland four-star quarterback commit Dwayne Haskins is a pro-style passer himself, and there might not be a better candidate anywhere to help Haskins grow into himself in College Park.
More broadly, Hamilton has coached plenty of good offenses in college and the pros.
Hamilton hasn't had to recruit the D.M.V. area hard before, so it's no guarantee that his considerable local ties would make him an immediate hit on the trail. He has no head coaching experience, and he did just get fired, even if he was merely a scapegoat for an injury-riddled and all-around miserable Colts season.
In one sentence
Hamilton has local ties and would bring Maryland a multi-leveled track record of strong offenses and quarterback development, despite meeting an unfortunate end with the Colts.