Maryland Football: Case for Mike Locksley to be Permanent Head Coach


Oct 24, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins running back Brandon Ross (45) runs for a touchdown past Penn State Nittany Lions safety Marcus Allen (2) M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins fell short on Saturday against Penn State, but while there are no moral victories, one thing was pretty clear at the end of the game. Interim head coach Mike Locksley is more than capable of running this football program.

As the losses started to get worse and worse for Maryland, things appeared to be quite grim. However, Saturday was more of a fresh start for the program, even if the outcome wasn’t quite what they had planned for.

For Locksley, the local ties run deep. Locksley, a Washington D.C. native, attended college at Towson University, where he was a standout defensive back. His first assistant coaching gig was actually at his alma mater.

These local ties are what could work in Locksley’s favor. Being from the area, he has some recruiting leverage that some of these other coaches don’t. Maryland has been pushing the DMV to UMD ‘Movement’ for the past couple years and it has grown stronger than ever before. It’s also interesting to note that some of these kids being recruited are the same ones who have competed with or against Locksley’s son, Kai, who is a freshman quarterback at Texas.

In terms of recruiting in the Baltimore and DMV area, there is probably no better man for the job than Locksley. One thing that stands out when watching the Terps this season is simply a lack of elite talent. Without talent, you can’t possibly expect to see positive results. The program is moving in the right direction, however, as Maryland has landed some of the top local prospects, including Dwayne Haskins Jr., Tino Ellis and Quarvez Boulware. Reeling in big-time local players could become the norm for the Terps if Locksley stays in College Park.

In addition to his recruiting connections, Locksley appears to be a leader of men. Even in a losing effort, the Terps seemed as though they genuinely wanted to play for him. The players put forth maximum effort for an entire game. It was refreshing to watch.

Senior running back Brandon Ross noticed a difference in the way the team played against the Nittany Lions.

"“Guys took it upon themselves and looked in the mirror and decided to make some changes and give more effort. I saw a different team today. There was a lot more energy and focus. Everybody noticed it.”"

More from Maryland Terrapins

When considering these factors, one might think that Locksley should be a no-brainer for the job. However, his past may come back to haunt him. His reign as the head coach at New Mexico from 2009-2011 was abysmal, to say the least. Under Locksley, the Lobos went 2-26, which equates to a 7 percent winning percentage.

Simply analyzing his record as a head coach and his lack of production as an offensive coordinator, it’s easy to just dismiss Locksley as a legitimate candidate for the job. But, take into consideration the fact that if he is hired, he won’t have to be responsible for calling plays. He can hire someone else to do it for him. Locksley’s main focus will be to recruit well and lead young men, both of which he is capable of at this point in his career.

Next: Top 5 Randy Edsall Era Memories

More from The Baltimore Wire