Maryland tabs Alabama OC Locksley as coach

Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Mike Locksley coaches as the team holds practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Aug. 4.Photo Credit: Advertiser-USA TODAY NETWORK

The announcement came on the heels of Locksley being named the Broyles Award winner Tuesday as the top assistant coach in college football.

“I am thrilled to be returning home and to have the opportunity to lead the Maryland Football program,” Locksley said in a statement. “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 has had two separate stints with the Terrapins, overseeing the running backs from 1997-2002 and serving as the offensive coordinator from 2012-2015. He also was the team’s interim head coach for the last six games of the 2015 season after Randy Edsall was fired.

The 48-year-old Locksley has helped the Crimson Tide average a nation second-best 47.9 points per game. The team has set school records this season for points scored (623), total offense (6,859 yards), offensive touchdowns (77) and passing yards (4,231).

Locksley was in his second season as a full-time assistant on Nick Saban’s staff and his first as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.

“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. “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.”

Matt Canada, who served as the Terrapins’ interim head coach this past season, and Michigan quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton were the other finalists to interview for the job, ESPN reported.