A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we have a guy who had spent eight years as a defensive coordinator before being hired as a position coach at Maryland.
Keith Dudzinski, Inside Linebackers Coach
Hometown: Belchertown, Mass.
College: New Haven
How’d He Get To College Park?
Dudzinski was an All-New England linebacker at New Haven, a Division II school, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and ended up staying at the school for three years after his graduation as a graduate assistant. As a grad assistant, he helped coach the linebackers and was a part of Mark Whipple’s coaching staff. In Dudz’ first year there as a member of the staff, the Chargers went 3-7, but followed it up with a 12-1 season in 1992 and 11-1 in 1993. After that year, both Dudz and Whipple went to Brown – Whipple as the head coach, Dudz as the defensive line coach, and the Bears compiled a 24-16 record over four years before both went to UMass.
More after the jump.
In their first year at UMass, Dudz, Whipple and co. won the national championship. After a few more successful years and a disappointing 3-8 campaign in 2001, Dudz left UMass to join Don Brown’s staff at Northeastern. In Dudz’s last two years at Brown and during his first two years at UMass, Brown was his defensive coordinator. At first, Dudz was the Huskies’ linebacking coach, but took over as defensive coordinator for the 2003 season.
Both Brown and Dudz got hired by UMass to take Whipple after he left for the NFL, and Dudz ended up as the defensive coordinator there until he was hired by Maryland this past year (so from 2004-10). Dudz was a part of two top-ten UMass teams, and in general has enjoyed great success in his career.
Some players that he coached will follow in the arbitrary list.
Being a part of that national championship team.
The mediocrity of the last two years under Kevin Morris. Also, being surpassed by Todd Bradford for the defensive coordinator job at Maryland.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Players Dudzinski has coached:
1. Two-time first team All-American Kole Ayi
2. First team All-American Liam Ezekiel
3. Two-time consensus first team All-American Shannon James
4. All-American Jason Hatchell
5. Buck Buchanan Award Finalist Tyler Holmes
Dudzinski has a very tough job in his positional grouping – we’ve detailed the woes of Maryland’s middle linebacker depth numerous times in the Profiles In Terpage series. For those that missed those earlier profiles, a recap: Ryan Donohue is transferring leaving Maryland with Demetrius Hartsfield and…that’s basically it. Behind Hartsfield right now is Ray Lynn, a walk-on transfer, and coming in this fall will be true freshman Cole Farrand. So Dudzinski has a lot of work cut out for him there, but luckily Hartsfield is an All-conference candidate who has a lot of talent and experience.
In terms of recruiting, it looks like Dudz is taking on the role left by Don Brown. His primary recruiting zone is South Florida, which is where a lot of Maryland’s recent secondary recruits hail from, and his secondary zone is New England. These are the two main areas that Brown was comfortable with, so if Dudz is able to be half as successful as his predecessor, Terps fans can be happy. In terms of local recruiting, Dudz will cover Baltimore and Carroll counties.
Our next profile will cover two players – one a transfer from Albright College and another who has a brother we already profiled.