Maryland has fired coach Randy Edsall and installed Mike Locksley to run the program. Here’s a rundown the Terrapins’ 45-year-old offensive coordinator and interim coach:
A diverse coaching background: Locksley, 45, has maintained strong ties to the Washington, D.C., area after his graduation from Ballou High School in the district and Towson State in Maryland. He played defensive back in college and got his start in coaching at the U.S. Naval Prep School in 1993 as a defensive assistant. After his one-year, cross-country move to University of the Pacific, the program was shut down, and Locksley moved to coach offense at Army for one year before landing at Maryland under Ron Vanderlinden as running backs coach in 1997. He remained, along with James Franklin, through the coaching transition to Ralph Friedgen and left to work for Ron Zook at Florida in 2003 and 2004. Locksley stayed with Zook at Illinois as offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2008, then served as head coach at New Mexico for two-plus seasons before Edsall brought him back to Maryland in 2012.
The New Mexico disaster: Locksley’s stint at New Mexico could not have gone much more poorly. He was 2-26, fired in September 2011 after an 0-4 start to his third season. The Lobos finished 113th and 116th nationally in scoring in his two full seasons, both of which ended at 1-11. Off the field, it was just as bad. Locksley was accused of sexual discrimination by a former administrative assistant in a lawsuit resolved out of court. And he missed one game in 2009 to serve a suspension for his involvement in an altercation with assistant coach J.B. Gerard. His final game at UNM, a 48-45 loss to FCS-level Sam Houston State, was played before an announced crowd of 16,313, the Lobos’ smallest since 1992, and came in the wake of a DWI arrest of a 19-year family friend who was driving a car registered to the coach’s wife and son.
Offensively speaking: The Terrapins are abysmal on offense this season amid a mess at quarterback, ranking 122nd (out of 128 teams) in raw QBR, 114th in yards per game, 115th in third-down conversion rate and dead last with 15 interceptions. Through five games, Maryland has tried veterans Perry Hills, Caleb Rowe and Daxx Garman at QB with little success. But Locksley has a decent track record. C.J. Brown set the Maryland career record with 58 total-offense touchdowns, and the Terps in 2013 topped 5,000 yards of total offense for the fourth time in school history. At Illinois, he coached QB Juice Williams to an All-Big Ten season in 2008, and Locksley’s offense, led by star back Rashard Mendenhall in 2007, helped the Illini to a Rose Bowl berth. Three Florida backs exceeded 1,000 yards rushing under Locksley’s guidance.
A recruiting star: Locksley earned his reputation as a standout recruiter during his first stint at Maryland. Serving as Friedgen’s recruiting coordinator, he lured Vernon Davis to College Park. His ties to the D.C. area have paid dividends at many coaching spots. When Urban Meyer took over for the fired Zook at Florida, Meyer tried unsuccessfully to keep Locksley on staff. Since returning to Maryland, Locksley has helped the Terps land national-caliber prospects in receiver Stefon Diggs and offensive tackle Damian Prince from near home -- major victories for Edsall’s staff. Locksley was instrumental in securing the pledge of 2016 quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. out of Potomac, Maryland, the No. 2-rated pocket passer nationally and No. 23 prospect overall in the ESPN 300. Haskins, sure to now face a second round of recruiting pitches, committed to the Terps in May over offers from Alabama. Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and others. In fact, Locksley's recruiting prowess and ties to Maryland's valuable home turf likely stand as the primary explanation for his ascension to interim coach.