Why Randy Edsall deserved an extension


On Monday afternoon, the Maryland football program rewarded coach Randy Edsall with a contract extension.

Now the question being asked is: is it deserved?

First of all, let’s take a look back to see how Edsall got to this point.

After being a backup quarterback at Syracuse from 1976 to 1979, Edsall spent the next 11 seasons with the Orange before moving on to Boston College to coach the defensive backs under New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin. In 1994, Edsall left Boston College when Coughlin took the Jacksoville Jaguars job.

Edsall was with the Jaguars from 1994 to 1997 to coach the defensive backs once again. Following his tenure in Jacksonville, the Pennsylvania native took the defensive coordinator job at Georgia Tech and had a large amount of success. Edsall’s unit improved quite a bit from the prior season and were co-ACC champions. The Yellow Jackets even beat Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl in 1999.

Following the 1999 season, Edsall began his tenure at Connecticut. During his time in Storrs, Edsall posted a 70-63 record.

Now that may not seem incredibly impressive, but he led an FCS program to five bowl games, including a BCS bowl. Over his last four seasons at UConn, Edsall led the Huskies to a 33-19 mark and was named the 2010 Big East Coach of the Year. He was the first coach to ever lead an FCS squad to the Division I ranks, which only took seven seasons. Edsall leads the school in wins (74) and most games coached (144).

What makes the job Edsall did at UConn even more impressive was the fact that he was able to do this with mostly three-star recruits or less. Not many four-star recruits are going to be jumping at the chance to play for the Huskies.

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Upon arriving in College Park in 2011, Edsall was left with a program that had a considerable amount of turnover. After Ralph Friedgen was let go, guys like Max Garcia (transferred to Florda then was drafted by the Denver Broncos), Javarie Johnson (transferred to New Mexico), and Titus Till (transferred to James Madison) all left the Terps and found homes elsewhere. Edsall did have players like Sal Conaboy, Darius Kilgo, Jeremiah Johnson, and Andre Monroe stick around and wound up having solid careers at Maryland.

Now one of the biggest feathers in Edsall’s cap is his ability to recruit.

The 2012 class was the first one that saw Edsall completely at the helm. Maryland fans should remember this one for many reasons, but most importantly, this was when the Terps landed Stefon Diggs. Diggs was part of a class that also included running back Wes Brown, cornerback Sean Davis, linebacker Abner Logan, and former offensive lineman Mike Madaras.

“Randy has made good strides in our first year in the Big Ten and our program is headed in the right direction.” – AD Kevin Anderson

With the 2013 class, Edsall kept up with the tradition of keeping local players close to home with guys like quarterback Shane Cockerille, wideout Taivon Jacobs (who flipped from Ohio State), and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. However, the former UConn coach just cast his net out to other states that the Terps hadn’t previously had a ton of success in. The staff secured commitments from players like linebacker Jalen Brooks (Georgia), tight end Andrew Issacs (Connecticut, and cornerback Will Likely (Florida).

During the past two years, Edsall has landed defensive end Jesse Aniebonam, offensive lineman Quarvez Boulware, defensive tackle Adam McLean, offensive tackle Damian Prince, and wide receiver Juwann Winfree (no longer with the team). Oh and the Terps just happened to reel in one of the top signal callers in the 2016 class in Dwayne Haskins.

Since he’s arrived at Maryland, Edsall and his staff have really gotten the job done on the recruiting trail. Some of that success has translated onto the field as Maryland has won 14 games in the past two seasons.

Obviously, Edsall needs his team to beat a top 25 opponent, which they’ve struggled to do during his tenure at Maryland. During his first season in the Big Ten, the Pennsylvania native did manage to top Michigan and Penn State on the road. Now both schools had down years, but those environments speak for themselves as far as being incredibly tough to play in. On the other hand, the Terps were throttled by the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.

Only $500,000 of Edsall’s deal is guaranteed, so there is little risk in this contract for Maryland. If Edsall continues to take the program to new heights and win, then it was a fantastic investment for the school. If this is the peak or the start of a decline, then there’s very little financial risk for the Terps.

Only time will tell what Edsall’s legacy will be in College Park, but this extension simply made a ton of sense for both parties.

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