Terps coach Ralph Friedgen listed on College Football Hall of Fame ballot

The College Football Hall of Fame’s 2023 ballot will have one big local name on it when votes are cast later this year — former University of Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen.

He was the 2001 national consensus Coach of the Year who elevated the Terps’ football program to national acclaim during his 10-year run from 2001 to 2010. His tenure included 12 wins over top-25 teams, a university-record of five bowl game victories and 75 wins as Maryland’s head coach, which ranks third all time at UMD.

In his first year as a coach in 2001, Friedgen led the Terps to their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in 16 years. The Year One turnaround landed UMD in the Orange Bowl — the school’s first major bowl bid in more than two decades.

Friedgen is one of nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision to be selected on the ballot.

He is also credited with recruiting and developing some of the nation’s top talent, with 80 players earning All-ACC honors during his tenure, as well as 37 being named All-Americans and seven named ACC Players of the Year.

Twenty-seven of Friedgen’s recruits would go on to join the NFL. Some of the notable players are:

  • Vernon Davis.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey.
  • E.J. Henderson.
  • D’Qwell Jackson.
  • Shawne Merriman.
  • Nick Novak.
  • Adam Podlesh.
  • Torrey Smith.
  • Josh Wilson.

Friedgen played offensive guard for the Terps from 1966 to 1969, and later returned as an assistant coach for the university under Bobby Ross from 1982 to 1986. Current Maryland head coach Michael Locksley served as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under Friedgen during the the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be announced in early 2023.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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