Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Todd Bradford to run Maryland defense
By Heather Dinich ESPN.com
Maryland assistant Todd Bradford, who was hired last month as the Terps' inside linebackers coach, has been promoted to defensive coordinator and Keith Dudzinski was hired to coach the inside linebackers, the school announced.
The staff changes Wednesday come on the heels of a report that former Miami coach Randy Shannon turned down the defensive coordinator position in order to avoid losing money he was guaranteed in his buyout.
ESPN.com's Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson write about all things ACC in the conference blog.
Maryland was forced to find a new coordinator quickly after Don Brown left earlier this month for the same position at Connecticut.
Bradford, who has coached in Conference USA, the Big 12 and Big Ten, spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Southern Mississippi. He also will coach the secondary.
"[Bradford] will lead an aggressive, attacking and fundamentally sound defense that will work to cause turnovers and create disruption for opposing offenses," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. "He brings great experience and knowledge to the position and has been successful throughout his career."
Under Bradford, the Golden Eagles' rushing defense ranked No. 13 (113.0 yards per game) in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2010. They were also 14th in third-down conversions (34 percent), 30th in turnovers gained (26), tied for 26th in tackles for loss (6.7 per game) and tied for 27th in interceptions (16).
In his second season as Southern Miss' defensive coordinator, the defense ended the season tied for 18th in the FBS in sacks (2.7 per game), tied for 25th in turnovers gained (27) and 26th in tackles for loss (6.8 pg).
Bradford also was a defensive coordinator at Lehigh (1994) and Louisiana Tech (1997-2000), where he served under current Maryland offensive coordinator Gary Crowton in his final two seasons. Crowton was the Bulldogs head coach at the time. Bradford also was the co-offensive coordinator at BYU (2003-04), his alma mater, under then-head coach Crowton.
Dudzinski served as the defensive coordinator at UMass-Amherst the last seven years, including five under Brown, who was the Minutemen's coach from 2004-08. During Dudzinski's time as defensive coordinator at UMass, the Minutemen finished among the top 20 in total defense three times (third in 2005; 20th in 2006; 13th in 2007). UMass also was first nationally in scoring defense in 2005 and fifth in '06.
"Keith is a great fit to our staff," Edsall said. "I've had personal experience with him, and he's had a lot of productivity at every stop, including as a highly successful recruiter."
Maryland's staff now includes two former head coaches (Crowton and Greg Gattuso) and a defense with two former coordinators (Bradford and Dudzinski).
"We've assembled a strong, solid staff in terms of on-the-field coaching and recruiting," Edsall said. "Now we're looking forward to getting into the nuts and bolts of coaching in order to get ready for spring practice, as well as continuing to recruit the best student-athletes."
Heather Dinich covers the ACC for ESPN.com.