Sorry, coach. It’s just "business."
Even though he was named the ACC football coach of the year, Ralph Friedgen was fired Monday by the University of Maryland in what athletic director Kevin Anderson called “a strategic business decision.”
Friedgen’s firing is effective after the Military Bowl on Dec. 29 at FedEx Field.
The announcement came Monday afternoon by Anderson, who said Friedgen would receive $2 million to cover the final year of his contract.
Anderson said he made plans to replace Friedgen after Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin accepted the head coaching job at Vanderbilt on Friday. Anderson said it became clear at that point that the football program was in need of “long-term direction and success.”
Friedgen has a 74-50 record in 10 years at his alma mater. After the Terrapins slipped to 2-10 last year, Friedgen guided the team to an 8-4 record and a berth in the Military Bowl, the seventh postseason appearance by Maryland under his direction.
The Terps made it clear that the $2 million being paid out to Friedgen will not come from state funding.
The monies necessary to fulfill Friedgen and the current coaching staff's contracts will be paid entirely by the Department of Athletics, a self-support unit of the University that receives no public funding and must generate all of its revenue. No state funding will be used. As with all of its operational and salary expenses, Maryland Athletics will cover the necessary costs through revenue generation, private fund-raising and strategic business decisions.
The school said a search committee appointed by the university will start looking this week. A search firm also will be hired to assist in the process.