|Monday, February 11
Updated: February 12, 6:13 PM ET
Friedgen decides to stay at Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland's Ralph Friedgen withdrew his name from consideration for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coaching opening Tuesday.
Friedgen, fresh off leading Maryland to a 10-2 record in his first season as a head coach, met with officials of the Buccaneers on Monday.
Friedgen is the latest in a series of coaches interviewed by the Buccaneers, who are seeking a replacement for Tony Dungy, fired last month after the team's first-round playoff loss in Philadelphia. The Bucs already talked to former NFL coach Bill Parcells and Marvin Lewis. Parcells backed away from the offer and Lewis, then defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, was ultimately shunned.
Then, less than 24 hours after speaking with the sons of Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer, Friedgen announced that he was staying put.
"It's very flattering to be considered after so many years of not being considered," said Friedgen, a longtime assistant before being hired by Maryland. "We have a long way to go here. I know what I have here. Sometimes you don't know what you'll have in other places."
Friedgen, speaking in a news conference at the university, said he was never formally offered the Bucs job, and never discussed financial terms with the Glazers. But he said he agreed to the meeting out of curiosity.
"It's something you have to look into from a monetary standpoint," he said.
But after meeting with his players early Tuesday morning, Friedgen said he decided to stay at Maryland.
Friedgen signed a 10-year contract with Maryland in December after leading the Terrapins to their first Atlantic Coast Conference title since 1986 and a berth in the Orange Bowl. Two days after signing the extension, Friedgen was named Associated Press College Coach of the Year.
Lewis, who later accepted a job as defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins, criticized the Bucs on Monday for their handling of the coaching search.
"It was a meeting that was already set one way," Lewis said of his session with the sons of Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer.
Although Friedgen made a name for himself as offensive coordinator of Georgia Tech and the man responsible for reviving Maryland's long suffering program, his experience has not been limited to the college game.
He served with the San Diego Chargers in 1993-96 under Bobby Ross, helping the team reach the Super Bowl in 1995 as its offensive coordinator.
Friedgen's announcement Tuesday backed up his sentiments upon signing his extension on Dec. 13 after being approached by Georgia Tech.
"It's telling the world I want to be here," he said at the time.