Tuesday’s announcement that Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown is returning to the program marks the first victory of new head coach Randy Edsall’s Terrapin career. The sigh of relief by fans is the first step in winning over a hostile fanbase still weary of his hiring.
Coach Edsall faces many off-field battles before he even begins to walk the sidelines of Byrd Stadium, and Don Brown staying with team was extremely important. Never has the hiring of a new coach brought so much controversy to the University of Maryland, and it is Edsall alone who must put the fires out.
The many fans, alumni, and various other supporters threatening to take action with their wallets to show their displeasure with his hiring can be silenced. Some season ticket holders have already written letters to the administration canceling their orders for next year, and those threats have extended to membership dues for Terrapin Club and Maryland Gridiron Network supporters too, but those actions can be reversed.
In order for Coach Edsall to win over Maryland fans, and silence his critics he must earn victories in these six areas:
1. Retain Don Brown (Win, Tuesday, January 4, 2011)
Why the fans want to see this to happen…
- In two seasons, Coach Brown turned the Terps into a solid defensive team.
- Players love playing for him, and his defense is exciting to recruits.
- Brown is a solid recruiter with ties to talent rich Florida.
2. Hire a dynamic offensive coordinator to develop the very talented young QBs.
Why is this important to fans?
- Danny O’Brien is bringing the Terps back to the days when Maryland was known as "Quarterback U," and fans want to see him throw the ball.
- UConn's "run baby run" offense is boring, and the fans are not excited about an offense where the tailback gets 35 carries.
- James Franklin never took advantage of the talent on the roster, and if Edsall can land a better play-caller, he will win over many skeptical fans.
3. Hire a top recruiting coordinator
Fans care about this because…
- Maryland fans are tired of seeing top in-state talent leave for “greener” pastures.
- Furthermore, fans are skeptical of Edsall’s lousy track record as a recruiter.
- A top recruiting coordinator will signal to fans that Edsall doesn’t intend to bring in mostly 2- and 3-star talent.
4. Land a recruiting class no lower than No. 35 nationally.
What will this do for the fanbase?
- If Edsall can keep the current recruiting class together and even add a few gems, fans will begin to buy in.
- The top teams in the country recruit the top talent in the country. Maryland fans want see this team become a national contender.
- A top 35 class shows that the future is bright, and all this talk of ACC Championships isn’t just a pipe dream
5. Put on an exciting Red-White spring game.
Why does a practice game matter?
- If the annual spring game is a dud, then the disgruntled voices will become louder.
- An exciting Red-White game can help save or even add to season ticket sales by proving to fans that the Terps intend to dominant on both sides of the football.
6. Avoid controversy with key members of staff and roster.
- Many fans believe that Maryland is a team on the cusp of something great, and the last thing fans want to see is the team torn apart and rebuilt.
- Every head coach needs to do things his way and assert his authority. However, if Coach Edsall can manage to keep the status quo of the current team, fans will take notice, and feel secure that this team is in fact ready to take off.