New Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell is bringing an energetic, fast-paced offense to College Park. He spoke with Arkansas State's Scout site, AStateNation, about his future on DJ Durkin's staff.
Bell will be running the same type of offense as he did at Arkansas State.
Offensively this doesn't change a thing. We're going to do what we're going to do and have been doing. Coach Durkin has been very supportive of that vision. He wants that here in his plan. It's part of how he sees us turning this program into a success story. None of us have really coached in the Big 10 so I'm excited to take what we do and do that in that conference. Nobody plays like we play in that conference. It will take some time to get the talent to where we need it, but the challenge and adventure to being unique in that league is intriguing to me."
This means we'll be seeing a lot of screens and a lot of offensive line movement, which actually suits Maryland's personel perfectly. Getting the ball to high school track star Taivon Jacobs and sophomore running back Ty Johnson with some room to move would be a good start, especially if Maryland's downfield passing ability is as limited as it was last season. This also probably means an offense that doesn't lead FBS in interceptions.
Bell didn't dive into what Maryland's failures were last season, but suffice to say he's "on to 2016".
I'm really more looking forward for Maryland than where it's been. Coach Durkin laid out a plan to me and that's what I'm excited about most. I'm excited to try and create a special offense there which is not something they've ever had consistently.
He described the whirlwind turn of events that led to his hiring:
It happened really fast actually. I got a message from Larry (Fedora) that Coach Durkin would be calling me and ten minutes later he called. That was Tuesday night last week. He came down on Thursday morning in New Orleans and we spent some time meeting and getting to know each other. I still wasn't sure at that point what I wanted to do. I ended up making my mind up around Friday night at 11:30pm. Just really felt like it's a good fit for me right now."
Bell is the first hire Durkin has made on the offensive side of the ball, but he'll be joining a staff that has a combination of experience and youth, with associate head coach and defensive line coach Mike London, defensive coordinator Scott Shafer and assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Pete Lembo all coming in with FBS head coaching experience.
The quality of guys and the quality of recruiters is incredible. That's what sold me on what he is planning on getting done there. I mean, you've got Coach London who has dominated the Tidewater area of Virginia in recruiting. You've got Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who knows the D.C. area and Maryland very well. Then add in Coach Durkin and Coach Shafer. If you're ever going to win at Maryland at the level we want to win you have to win in recruiting those areas and we have the guys that can do that. I just felt like if it's ever going to happen at Maryland, this is going to be the guy to do it and I wanted to be a part of it.
He also earns bonus points for a timely Star Wars reference.
"There are four head coaches there right now so I get to be Luke Skywalker; and instead of learning from one Yoda, I'll be learning from four Yodas," Bell said.
Maryland's new offensive coordinator, everyone.