Maryland hires Brian Stewart as new DC

Former Houston defensive coordinator Brian Stewart has been hired as Maryland's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, the school announced Tuesday.

Last Friday, Maryland announced that former coordinator Todd Bradford would not return for the 2012 season. Maryland has now replaced both of its coordinators following last year's 2-10 finish in coach Randy Edsall's first season.

Stewart spent the past two seasons with the Cougars, who finished the 2011 season 13-1. Under Stewart, the Cougars finished in the FBS' top 15 in five categories: red-zone scoring (second -- 67 percent), interceptions (T-3 -- 21), tackles for loss (sixth -- 7.7 per game), turnovers gained (T-10 -- 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 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."

Stewart, 47, joined Houston's staff after spending eight seasons as an NFL assistant. His last pro stop was in 2009 as a defensive special assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he coached the NFL's top cornerback interception tandem of Asante Samuel (9) and Sheldon Brown (5).

He will be tasked with improving a Terrapins defense that finished 111th in the nation in rushing defense, 108th in total defense and 102nd in scoring defense.

"I'm excited to join Randy's staff," Stewart said in the statement. "I admired what he did at UConn and saw the beginning of that transformation while I was at Syracuse. We've taken similar career paths as secondary coaches and then coordinators. It will be an exciting new challenge implementing our defense in the ACC, a very competitive league and one of the traditional BCS conferences."

Heather Dinich covers ACC football for ESPN.com.