Randy Edsall For Maryland Football: Safe Hire, Logical Hire, Right Hire?

Alex GuyCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2011

AD Kevin Anderson and Randy Edsall could be linked for years to come
AD Kevin Anderson and Randy Edsall could be linked for years to comeMitchell Layton/Getty Images

Around two o'clock today, new Athletic Director, Kevin Anderson, introduced Randy Edsall to the University of Maryland and Terrapin fans.

The move comes at the conclusion of an up and down month for the school's football program.

After being named ACC Coach of the Year, Ralph Friedgen was fired after 10 seasons with the Terps. An alum, Friedgen experienced early success but failed to achieve the same success. With his team's complete dismantling of the less talented East Carolina Pirates in the Military Bowl, Friedgen left the school with a 75-50 career mark.

So as Randy Edsall addressed the media today, the elephant in the room seemed to be clear: Was this the move to take Maryland to the next level?

Regardless of how you felt about Friedgen, Edsall seems to be an attractive replacement.

After taking the University of Connecticut's football program from Division 1-AA to a BCS game in 12 seasons, Edsall appears to be adept at taking his teams to unprecedented levels.

A protege of Tom Coughlin's, Edsall has NFL experience and leaves Hartford as the Huskies all time wins leader.

So, why do many Maryland fans feel disenchanted or even hurt?

As a loyal Terp, Friedgen was a local coach with ties to the region. He was a community guy for an area that particularly respects figures who remain in one place (i.e. Cal Ripken and Ray Lewis)

I think most Terp fans were looking for a hire that would cause some buzz and make Maryland relevant on a national arena. Someone who could take back the state's top recruits that Friedgen seemed to let slip away to other schools.

Can Edsall do this? We won't know right away. 

Before we judge this hire fully, I want to point out that Edsall did not take the plane home with his team after they were roughed up by Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. He opted to fly to Maryland instead to begin the interviewing process.

As people are already calling Edsall's decision to come to Maryland a "stepping stone", Edsall's abandoning of his team after a defeat looks particularly glaring.

For a community that cherishes loyalty, Edsall might be showing his true colors before he coaches a down.