In a stunning development, Maryland Terrapins defensive coordinator Don Brown has announced he is leaving the school to take the same position with the Connecticut Huskies.
The timing of the announcement is very suspicious given that the Terps just completed signing day and inked a number of defensive players who came to Maryland in large part due to their great relationship with Brown. Those players are now essentially stuck, and some of them have even come and said they wouldn’t have come to Maryland had they known Brown wouldn’t be the defensive coordinator.
Brown said that he was heading back to New England to be closer to his family, which refused to move down to Maryland when he took the job with the Terps. His daughter is having a baby, which also played a role. That’s understandable, but did he not realize this when he decided to stay on with the Terps after Ralph Friedgen’s firing? Did he not realize this at some point before signing day, when several young men made the decision to come to Maryland in large part because of him?
Maybe he purposefully waited until after signing day to make the announcement, thus keeping Maryland from losing a bunch of defensive recruits at the last minute. While that may have been in the best interest of the football program, it certainly lacked integrity when taking into account his recruits and their college future.
At the same time, you have to wonder if Brown’s defensive philosophy may have clashed with new head coach Randy Edsall’s. Edsall is a defensive-minded coach, and maybe he made it clear to Brown that they would be fine-tuning his philosophy next year.
This is just the latest unsettling news to surround the football program, and the announcement has only refueled the ire of fans who wanted Mike Leach to be the team’s next head coach. Athletic director Mike Anderson was already feeling the heat over the Edsall hire, and this has certainly done nothing to douse those flames.
Brown’s return pacified many Terps fans who were set on Leach and furious over the Edsall hiring, as many like his more aggressive style in putting pressure on the quarterback. It will be interesting to see who the Terps hire now as their new defensive coordinator and what type of schemes they will use.
Edsall has a pretty good team returning, and you get the feeling that they will have to put up a lot of wins to satisfy the fanbase or all hell is going to break loose. Anderson also has to be a little concerned that a slow start to Edsall’s tenure in College Park could really put him under fire and ultimately lead to the loss of his job.