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Maryland is hiring Mike Locksley today. Yes, 3-31 Mike Locksley.

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It’s a good hire.

Maryland v Rutgers Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

News got out Tuesday afternoon that the Maryland Terrapins would hire former RB/QB/OC coach, recruiting ace, Alabama offensive analyst, and, yes, New Mexico Lobos head coach Mike Locksley as head coach.

Locksley will be introduced as the new head coach in a press conference at 11am ET today.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Good

Recruiting. People outside of the DMV won’t get it, but Locksley is The Man in the DMV.

To use AAU as an example: He’s that AAU coach that sends a kid wherever he wants, whenever he wants. DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks said it best to 247 writer Brian Dohn:

“With Mike Locksley coming home, there will be no more free reign in the DMV,” Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks said. “Coaches trust him, parents trust him, players trust him. Maryland football will never be the same.”

Oh, and a guy we trust on the Maryland program, Scott Van Pelt, agrees:

The Alabama Effect. He just headed an Alabama offense that broke all kinds of records.

He’s spent the last three years under Nick Saban since leaving MD as the OC, which hopefully taught him some things. He did push back at Maryland and took a lower salary ($2.5M/yr) to have a larger pool for assistant money. That allows him to hire...

A better coaching staff. Locksley is a great recruiter, so he will likely look to find more Xs and Os types instead of hardcore recruiters. Locksley has MANY old recruits who are now up-and-coming assistants both in the college ranks and NFL. Look to Locksley to fill out his staff with those types.

These will include:

  • Dennard Wilson: DB Coach
  • Elijah Brooks (Dematha HC): RB Coach
  • It’s also rumored that Josh Gattis may come as OC with Locksley from Alabama

That’s quite a list for Maryland.

The Bad

3-31...and more. Let’s not sugar coat it: His record as an interim at UMD and the HC at New Mexico is 3-31. He was accused of punching an assistant. He left the Lobos in shambles.

That’s beyond bad.

But Maryland fans are waving this off both because he has hopefully learned from Saban on how to run a team and because this job is a unique fit for Locksley with his local support and contacts.

I, um, well hope that’s true, because otherwise we just hired someone that doesn’t belong at a Division 1 school in any head coaching capacity.

Can he run a program? Maryland just had a year where a player died in workouts. Investigations of the program revealed prior assistants were using, at best, questionable tactics to motivate players. Wouldn’t you want a coach who could clean up that program?

Mike Locksley punched an assistant at New Mexico and was accused of sexual harassment for telling a female staffer at New Mexico she was too old/not hot enough to be around recruits. So, uh, not good looks, Maryland.

That was over six years ago, but coming directly off the Jordan McNair tragedy, perhaps not the best choice. The Maryland AD obviously decided otherwise and has determined that locally, Locksley is the best man to mend fences and keep the team together.

The Verdict

I honestly don’t know what to think.

I know that if anyone is going to turn Maryland into a competitor, Mike Locksley is the man that can get the talent to do it—he has a relationship with every coach in the DMV, it seems. How he fills his staff out is key to utilizing the talent he should be able to bring in.

I’m scared of how he did at New Mexico, obviously, but know he is able to bring the talent here that can make Maryland better.

This has the potential to turn the entire perception of the program around. I don’t remember buzz around the program like this since I was in college and we were not so far off an Orange Bowl.

I’m cautiously excited to see what’s going to happen.

Disagree? Think there are other reasons he’s the right guy? Vote in the poll and let me know your perspective in the comments.


Was Mike Locksley the right coaching hire for Maryland?

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