Opinion: Maryland Terrapins Should Hire A Former NFL Coach


Aug 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly on his sideline during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles won 40-17. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As rumblings of Randy Edsall’s imminent demise at College Park have continued throughout the day, the Maryland Terrapins need to find out who their next head coach will be. If they want to compete with the big names in the Big Ten, they will need a big name of their own. This is why it is imperative that the Terps hire a former NFL head coach as their next head coach.

If Edsall is fired after the Ohio State game this Saturday, athletic director Kevin Anderson will have an ample amount of time to choose his man wisely. One former NFL coach who has had immediate success in the college ranks is Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh is coaching the 18th-ranked Michigan Wolverines who are now 4-1.

There are two candidates that come to mind immediately.

The Top Dogs:

Chuck Pagano

The reason for Pagano is pretty obvious. He is in a similar situation as Harbaugh was in his last year of coaching the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. Pagano is in a contractual dispute and this seems to stem from disagreements with Colts GM Ryan Grigson.

A report per James Brady of SB Nation details:

"“Unfortunately, the anonymous reports about a feud between Grigson and Pagano aren’t going away, despite denials from both sides. There have also been reports that Pagano doubts he’ll be back with the Colts in 2016. And as we saw last year with Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers, when rumors persist like this, it’s never a good sign.”"

This could open up the opportunity for the Terps to hire Pagano, who was also the former Ravens defensive coordinator. He also has coaching experience at the college level (as recently as 2007). Recruiting should not be too hard for a well-known, marquee coach in the NFL going to the college level.

Chip Kelly

The man, the myth, the legend. Chip Kelly has been pretty successful as an NFL coach, with two straight seasons of being 10-6. However, this season and in seasons past, Kelly’s name has been brought up in college coaching rumors because of dissent within the locker room and around the league about his coaching style.

Former NFL head coach, Brian Billick, found that players were very critical of the way Kelly treated them. He would explain himself on the Move the Sticks podcast:

"“This thing is a powder keg ready to blow up, because as you guys know, you talk to the players, I’ve done their games, even when they’re 10-6 the last two years, the players aren’t real fond of the way they do business and the way they practice. They feel like they’re being treated like college players.”"

One thing is well-known, however. Kelly is a well-renowned college football coach. He boasts a 46-7 record as the Oregon Ducks head coach (.868 winning percentage). Kelly’s fast-paced offense would bring the Terps a quick attack on offense.

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Also, Kelly had another huge athletic-wear brand in Nike that he would have in Under Armour at Maryland. He would have absolutely no problem recruiting, as he did well in Oregon.

Dark Horse, Brian Billick:

I mentioned his name before and I will mention it again. Brian Billick would be a great fit for the Maryland Terrapins. Why? He has the Baltimore-effect. Everyone knows him as the Super Bowl-winning head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. In Baltimore, Billick had a 80-64 coaching record (.556 winning percentage), winning five games out of eight in the postseason.

Jan 30, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Baltimore Ravens former coach Brian Billick on the NFL Network set at the Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sport

However, Billick hasn’t coached college football since the 90’s with Stanford. Would he be willing to jump from being an analyst to becoming Maryland’s head coach?

We shall see what decision the Terps make and I believe that decision should come with a coach who has the experience and success at the NFL level.

Next: The game plan for facing #1 Ohio State