ACC: Todd Bradford

Maryland hires defensive coordinator

January, 17, 2012
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Former Houston defensive coordinator Brian Stewart has been hired as Maryland’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, the school announced on Tuesday morning.

Coach Randy Edsall has now made the two most important hires of the offseason, replacing Todd Bradford with Stewart and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton with Mike Locksley. The Stewart hire was obviously in the works for much longer than the school let on, as it only announced the firing of Bradford on Friday. Stewart will have his work cut out for him, as he has to turn around one of the worst defenses in the country. Then again, the entire staff has to turn around a 2-10 season.

Stewart spent the past two seasons with Houston, which finished 13-1. The Cougars ranked in the top 15 in the FBS in five categories: red-zone scoring (second – 67 percent), interceptions (t-third – 21), tackles for loss (sixth – 7.7 per game), turnovers gained (t-10th – 31) and opponent passing efficiency (12th – 111.75 rating).

Houston also improved from 96th nationally in scoring defense (32.2 points per game) in 2010 to 35th (22.4) this past year.

“I’m very pleased to have Brian come on board,” Edsall said in a prepared statement. “He is a proven defensive coordinator at both the collegiate and professional level. All of his experience will help us move forward as we look for him to implement his aggressive style. He will also be a great addition to our recruiting efforts.”

I'll have more on this hire later this afternoon.

Terps' DC Todd Bradford won't return

January, 13, 2012
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Maryland defensive coordinator Todd Bradford will not return in 2012, the school announced on Friday. Both parties agreed to a negotiated buyout of Bradford’s remaining contract.

“We appreciate Todd’s efforts this past season and wish him well in his future endeavors," Coach Randy Edsall said in a prepared statement. "It is the right time for us to move forward in a different direction.”

There's only one direction for Maryland to go at this point -- up.

Edsall, whose six-year contract was too lucrative for this season to cost him his own job, has now fired both of his coordinators. Gary Crowton has already been replaced by Mike Locksley. Bradford's dismissal should come as no surprise after the 2-10 finish. Maryland was ranked No. 108 in the country in total defense and No. 102 in scoring defense. With the move, Clemson and Maryland are now both in need of defensive coordinators.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland running backs coach Andre Powell put change into a parking meter in downtown College Park for 20 minutes -- just long enough to run into Boston Market for a quick bite.

Twenty-two minutes later, he had a ticket.

Win or lose, moving takes some getting used to.

[+] EnlargeDanny O'Brien
Mitch Stringer/US PresswireDanny O'Brien passed for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns on his way to earning conference rookie of the year honors.
Randy Edsall’s staff has made a bizarre transition. Instead of replacing a group of coaches that were fired for losing, they’re tasked with improving a program that won nine games last season, including a bowl game, and had the ACC’s Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year. While there is obviously talent still remaining on the roster (14 starters return), the new assistants downplayed the notion that their transition might be any easier because they inherited a good team.

“In this profession it’s never easy, it’s always harder because everything is brand new,” said special teams and outside linebackers coach Lyndon Johnson, who was on Edsall’s staff at Connecticut. “We’re coming in with a different philosophy, different schemes, so there’s a learning curve not just for players, but for us as coaches. Our defensive staff, the four of us, none of us come from the same background. We all have to learn Todd (Bradford’s) system in order to be able to teach it to our players. It’s always going to be an uphill battle, but this isn’t like it was an empty-shelf program. These guys were very successful.”

And yet only two assistants -- receivers coach Lee Hull and offensive line coach Tom Brattan -- remain from Ralph Freidgen’s staff.

“It’s a business, and in this business things happen,” Hull said. “You just adjust to it and go with the flow. Has it been an easy transition? No, but any new job is an adjustment. Had I left here and gone to another job that would have been an adjustment, too. Coach Edsall has been great through this whole transition and very understanding that Tom and I were on the previous staff. He’s been sensitive to that.”

The staff is comprised of a variety of backgrounds and two former head coaches in defensive line coach Greg Gattuso (Duquesne) and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton (Louisiana Tech and BYU). Defensive coordinator Todd Bradford and Crowton will both install new schemes and terminology this spring, which will obviously require an adjustment for even ACC Rookie of the Year quarterback Danny O'Brien.

Bradford was on the road speaking at a clinic when former defensive coordinator Don Brown left Maryland for a job at Connecticut. A month later, Bradford was hired as Maryland's defensive coordinator.

He said it’s still too early to get a read on the talent level the staff inherited.

“It’s hard to say because we haven’t coached these players yet,” he said. “It’s hard to say until we start coaching these guys. I don’t think it’s ever easy when you’re a new staff because there’s transition, there’s coaches getting to know players, there’s the learning curve that the players have, there’s a transition of how do we handle academics, how do we handle recruiting? Those are the same no matter what happened before we got there. Those challenges are always there. I think it’s very similar to any other place I’ve gone into when I’ve been on a new staff -- you have the things that have to get done in transition.”

Bradford said the staff has all of the necessary resources to be successful, including financial and fan support -- two areas that have been problems for Maryland in the past.

“That’s one of the reasons why we came, no question,” Bradford said. “I think everyone felt that way, that Maryland’s resources, where it was located, the tradition -- all of the things you look for when you’re talking about can you win every game, we felt like we had it.”

Now their challenge is to get more out of it than their predecessors did.

ACC's best offseason coordinator hire

February, 17, 2011
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Finally. Now that Maryland has hired/promoted a defensive coordinator, all of the major coaching changes in the ACC should be complete.

Aside from the two new head coaches -- Maryland's Randy Edsall and Miami's Al Golden -- the coordinator positions will have the most influence on the conference race. Five programs in the ACC -- Boston College, Clemson, Maryland, Duke and Miami -- will have new coordinators in 2011:

BOSTON COLLEGE

OUT: Offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill (retired)
IN: Offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers (spent past five seasons as QB coach of Minnesota Vikings)

CLEMSON

OUT: Offensive coordinator Billy Napier (fired)
IN: Offensive coordinator Chad Morris (hired from Tulsa)

MARYLAND

OUT: Offensive coordinator James Franklin (head coach at Vanderbilt)
IN: Offensive coordinator Gary Crowton (hired from LSU)
OUT: Defensive coordinator Don Brown (took same position at Connecticut)
IN: Todd Bradford (promoted from inside linebackers coach after a month)

DUKE

OUT: Defensive coordinator Marion Hobby (hired as Clemson defensive line coach)
IN: Jim Knowles (promoted from within)

MIAMI

OUT: Mark Whipple (fired)
IN: Jedd Fisch (former QB coach of Seattle Seahawks)
OUT: John Lovett (fired)
IN: Mark D'Onofrio (spent past five seasons with Golden at Temple)

BEST HIRE: Rogers. His experience is unmatched, and it's what separates him from the others. That's not to say there's not experience on this list -- Knowles and Crowton are both former head coaches. That's a huge bonus. But Rogers recently completed his 36th year in the coaching profession, 28 of which have been spent at the collegiate level. Fisch coached one collegiate season, at Minnesota. Morris has one season of collegiate coaching experience. Rogers has worked with the likes of Donovan McNabb, Bryan Randall and most recently Brett Favre. His biggest strength -- developing quarterbacks -- is what BC needs most right now. Rogers knows the ACC -- he coached at Virginia Tech. That's not to say that the others won't make an immediate impact or extract drastic improvements, but Frank Spaziani's hire was worth the wait.

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