The search for Maryland’s next head coach, open since DJ Durkin’s firing on Halloween night, has been quiet — and for good reason.
Sources told FootballScoop that Maryland is waiting on Mike Locksley, who has told the Terps he will not interview until Alabama’s SEC Championship game versus Georgia is complete.
Once said game is complete, Locksley is expected to interview with the understanding that if all goes well, Locksley is the leading candidate.
A Washington, D.C., native, Locksley has been a fixture on the Maryland football scene for three decades. He played at Towson and deposited multiple stints as a Terps assistant coach, most recently as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2012-15. He has spent the past three years at Alabama, with one season as an offensive analyst, one as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, and this current season as offensive coordinator.
The Tide’s attack ranks second nationally in scoring offense and yards per play, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Locksley was announced Monday as a finalist for the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.
Locksley does have one previous stint as a head coach, going 2-26 in two-plus seasons at New Mexico — but that was before he completed three years in Nick Saban’s Finishing School for Once and Future Head Coaches.
Equally important to his Xs and Os bona fides, Locksley has helped the Crimson Tide secure four Maryland/DC commitments in Alabama’s top-ranked 2019 recruiting class.
If Locksley indeed becomes the next Maryland head coach, it would mark the fourth consecutive year Saban has lost a coordinator to a head coaching position, following Kirby Smart (Georgia, 2015), Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic, 2016) and Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee, 2017).
Of course, this is Maryland we’re talking about, the most dysfunctional university administration in the country at this point. Locksley would need to feel comfortable casting his lot with Maryland just as much as Maryland would have to feel comfortable with him.
Should Locksley’s hiring fall through, Matt Canada has done everything in his power to position himself as Maryland’s next option. Canada led Maryland to a 5-7 record — including a win over Texas and a near-miss against Ohio State — while stepping in as interim head coach in the wake of Durkin’s suspension and firing.
Whether Maryland’s administration turns to Canada as Plan B or opens up the search remains to be seen.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.