Maryland has announced Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as its next head coach.
Locksley, a Washington native who attended nearby Towson, had previously served two different stints as an assistant at Maryland, including as interim coach in 2015 following the firing of Randy Edsall.
He has spent the past three seasons serving on Nick Saban's staff, picking up the Broyles Award this season as the nation's top assistant coach for his work with Tua Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide offense.
“I am thrilled to be returning home and to have the opportunity to lead the Maryland Football program,” Locksley said in a statement released by the school. “This has always been a special place for me and my family, and I am honored to take on this role at the state’s flagship institution. Our goal is to create an atmosphere and environment focused on the total development of our student-athletes. Our focus will always be to help them become more successful in all areas of their life through their association with our program."
Locksley is seen as a great recruiter, particularly in the "DMV" where Maryland says he's grabbed 14 four- or five-star recruits (per Rivals rankings). In the release, the school credited Locksley with bringing Stefon Diggs, Vernon Davis, Shawne Merriman, EJ Henderson and Yannick Ngakoue, among other future NFL players, to College Park.
However, his only prior head coaching job was a disastrous 2-26 run at New Mexico over parts of three seasons from 2009-2011. On top of the record, there was an incident where he was suspended for punching an assistant.
Still, Locksley's recruiting track record, ties to the program and area should help the Terrapins move on from the DJ Durkin era. After initially being reinstated, Durkin was fired in October following a suspension that came as the result of a report of a toxic culture in the Maryland program. In addition to the investigation into Maryland's culture, the school accepted "legal and moral responsibility" for the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who died in June a few weeks after suffering complications during a team workout.
“I have been tremendously impressed at how the team came together through a difficult season and honored their fallen teammate, Jordan," Locksley said. "We are all in this together, and I look forward to rejoining the Maryland family. Thank you to (athletic director) Damon Evans, President (Wallace) Loh and the entire Terrapin community for this opportunity.”
Locksley's introductory press conference will be held on Thursday. Stadium reported that he still is expected to help the Tide as they ready for the College Football Playoff.
Contributing: Dan Wolken
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