Locksley tapped as Maryland's head football coach

Locksley tapped as Maryland's head football coach

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Mike Locksley is returning home. 

The University of Maryland named Locksley as its new head football coach, the school announced on Tuesday night. 

The former Illinois offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and Washington, D.C., native, will take over for Matt Canada, who was the Terrapins' interim head coach during the 2018 season following the suspension and eventual termination of D.J. Durkin. 

"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," Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said in a press release. "On the field, Michael orchestrated one of the country's most prolific offenses at the University of Alabama and has long been regarded for his recruiting prowess. Today he was recognized as the nation's top assistant coach in the country, and I'm excited for him to be leading our program.

"I am thrilled to be returning home and to have the opportunity to lead the Maryland Football program," said Locksley. "This has always been a special place for me and my family, and I am honored to take on this role at the state's flagship institution. Our goal is to create an atmosphere and environment focused on the total development of our student-athletes. Our focus will always be to help them become more successful in all areas of their life through their association with our program."

Locksley, an assistant coach on the Illini's 2008 Rose Bowl team, helped orchestrate an offense featuring Juice Williams, Arrelious Benn and Rashard Mendenhall. 

Locksley parlayed that success with Illinois into a head-coaching job at New Mexico, where he struggled to a 2–26 record. He was fired in 2011.

He eventually landed in College Park, Md., and joined Randy Edsall's staff at Maryland as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before the 2012 season. Locksley, who served as the Terrapins' interim coach in 2015 after Edsall was fired, left for Alabama in 2016 and was promoted from offensive analyst and wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator prior to the 2018 season.

In his one season in control of the Crimson Tide's offense, top-ranked Alabama averaged 527.6 yards per game, with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa named as one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy on Monday. 

A former defensive back at Towson State in Towson, Md., Locksley won the 2018 Broyles Award as the top assistant in college football on Tuesday.