Edsall Named Coach At Maryland

UConn head coach Randy Edsall leads his team out onto the field at the start of the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. (JOHN WOIKE)

Randy Edsall met with the UConn football team in the locker room after the 48-20 Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma Saturday night, asking if anyone wanted to speak. The captains addressed the team, and running back Jordan Todman announced he was leaving the program to turn pro.

No one knew at the time that Edsall was leaving UConn, too.

Not much more than 12 hours after that meeting, the Internet was lit up with reports that Edsall would be named coach at the University of Maryland. Those reports proved true.

Edsall, 52, will be introduced at a 2 p.m. press conference today in College Park, Md. He met with Maryland players Sunday night, and his hiring was announced by Terps athletic director Kevin Anderson.

UConn said it would not comment on the coaching situation until after Edsall's press conference today, but a source said the school expects to have a replacement in one to two weeks. Coincidentally, UConn is scheduled to play at Maryland in 2012, and host the Terps in 2013.

Many players first learned their coach was Maryland-bound trough e-mails, voice mails and text messages after their flight home from Phoenix on Sunday.

Junior wide receiver Kashif Moore expressed disappointment with Edsall's decision, but said he understood it.

"It's disappointing but at the same time, Coach Edsall has done so much for the program," Moore said. "I love him as a person and what he did for us after Jazz [ Jasper Howard] was killed.

"I respect him for that but at the end of the day, and I learned this when I was getting recruited, this is a business. We can't ever forget that."

Moore, who wore Howard's No. 6 in the Fiesta Bowl as a tribute to his former teammate, who was killed in a 2009 campus stabbing, said that after the captains and Todman spoke Saturday, Edsall said nothing about possibly leaving.

"I mean, he could have told us then," Moore said.

Moore was not on the UConn team's charter flight home from Phoenix, but a freshman player who was said the team's assistant coaches were surprised when they learned Edsall was leaving.

"[Edsall] made Jordan address the team to say he was leaving, and he isn't man enough to do it face to face to us?" said the player, who did not want to be identified.

"As we were landing and turned on our phones, we all started getting text messages from people saying, 'Hey, have you heard? What do you think? What's going on?'

"All the [assistant coaches] were on the plane, and they didn't know."

There were no more than 25 players on the Huskies' charter flight. Since UConn is semester break, many players went home their own way.

The freshman player said Edsall held an impromptu conference call from Maryland with a few of the players who were on the plane after it landed.

"We were on hold for a half-hour, with the operations manager telling us Edsall would be coming on in a few minutes," the freshman player said. "When Edsall came on he was like, "I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry I can't do this in person, but due to circumstances … I just want to let you know that it's not because of you guys. But it's an opportunity for my family. … I can move on feeling like I've accomplished things here and I'm leaving the program in a good way."

The player said Edsall added: "Guys, this just happened. It was a spur of the moment thing. I had no idea."