U.Md. looks to Alabama’s Mike Locksley as next head football coach

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) talks with Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley before the start of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

WASHINGTON — The University of Maryland has named Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as its next head football coach.

The school made the announcement Tuesday night as earlier media reports began to name Locksley. He will be introduced at a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday.

“As we narrowed the search for the individual best suited to lead our program, Michael not only stood out for his talent as a coach, but most importantly for the role he has played as a mentor to student-athletes throughout his career and his deep commitment to helping them grow into leaders on and off the field,” Damon Evans, the school’s director of athletics, said in a news release.

For Locksley, 48, it’s a return to Maryland. The D.C. native was an interim head coach for Maryland back in the 2015 season, taking over for the fired Randy Edsall. He was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the school from 2012-2015. And, from 1997-2002, he was responsible for various coaching duties. 

Maryland also touted his recruiting skills, which include local recruits that went on to play in the NFL. He also just won the 2018 Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Locksley spent the last three years at Alabama, The Associated Press reported. He was a head coach at New Mexico, where he went 2-26 from 2009-11. It was a rocky tenure as he was suspended for one game in 2009 for an altercation with an assistant coach, and was sued for sexual harassment by an administrative assistant. Those claims were later resolved.

Locksley has reached a five-year deal with an option and will earn roughly $2.5 million annually, according to The Washington Post. He is taking over for Matt Canada, who was the interim head coach this past season.

Canada took over for the suspended DJ Durkin, who was later fired by the school earlier this year. Maryland’s football program has been under intense scrutiny after the death of student-athlete Jordan McNair in June following a team workout in May.

The 19-year-old’s death sparked investigations into not only how his health was handled at the time but also into the culture of the football program at the College Park campus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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