Terps Football: Coaching Staff Update
Michael Locksley was introduced as Maryland’s new head football coach in early December, but still has yet to fill out his entire coaching staff. Due to his presence as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, he was forced to split his time between College Park and Tuscaloosa until after the National Championship Game a few weeks ago. This condensed timeline has led to quite a few hiccups in his assistant coaching search, and still a few key vacancies left to fill.
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The Coaching Staff
As it stands today, this is Maryland’s on-field coaching staff:
Head Coach – Michael Locksley
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach – Scottie Montgomery
Special Teams Coordinator – John Papuchis
Running Backs Coach – Elijah Brooks
Wide Receivers Coach – Joker Phillips
Tight Ends Coach – Mike Miller
Offensive Line Coach – John Reagan
Defensive Backs Coach/Defensive Passing Game Coordinator – Cory Robinson
Montgomery comes to Maryland from East Carolina, where he was the head coach from 2016-2018. He won just 3 games in each of his 3 seasons with the Pirates, and was fired before their final game last year. Before that he was on David Cutcliffe’s staff at Duke, spending 2 years as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He also has experience coaching wide receivers with Duke and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Montgomery runs an up-tempo spread-option scheme that ought to mesh perfectly with quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome’s skill-set.
Papuchis is a native Marylander, having attended Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg. He was most recently North Carolina’s defensive coordinator from 2017-2018, and coached their linebackers from 2015-2016. He has 7 years of Big Ten Conference coaching experience, having served on Bo Pelini’s staff at Nebraska after following him from LSU. He spent 4 years as the Cornhuskers’ special teams coordinator.
Brooks is also a native to the state of Maryland, a graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville. He has spent the last 11 years on the coaching staff at DeMatha, and had been the head coach since 2012. While the DeMatha-to-Maryland pipeline has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, hiring Brooks ought to lead to even more commits from the high school powerhouse.
Phillips is the most recent addition to the coaching staff, and most recently served as Cincinnati’s wide receivers coach for the last 2 seasons. A native of the state of Kentucky and graduate of its flagship state school, he spent 18 years on the Wildcats’ coaching staff including 3 as head coach from 2010-2012. With the exception of 1 season as Cincinnati’s defensive backs coach, all of his positional coaching experience has come as a wide receivers coach. He’s also an excellent recruiter, having served multiple years as a recruiting coordinator for both Kentucky and Florida. He has 1 year of NFL coaching experience as the Cleveland Browns’ wide receivers coach in 2015.
Miller comes to Maryland from Alabama, where he was a graduate assistant working with quarterbacks and wide receivers from 2017-2018. He is a former quarterback at UAB, and has been coaching since 2015 in various minor roles. This will be the first positional coaching job for him in his career.
Reagan has over 20 years of coaching experience, and was most recently the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Penn from 2015-2018. He has 16 years of experience coaching offensive lines at Air Force, Albany, Army, Kansas, Penn, Rice, and Temple.
Robinson returns to Maryland after serving as the Terrapins’ Director of Player Personnel in 2015 under former head coach Randy Edsall. He spent last season as Rutgers’ cornerbacks coach and passing game coordinator. He is a native of Baltimore, and began his career on the staffs of Calvert Hall College and St. Frances Academy high schools in the state of Maryland.
Collegiate football programs are allotted 10 assistant on-field coaches, so this leaves 3 vacancies for Locksley to fill: Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Line Coach, and Linebackers Coach. Papuchis was originally rumored to be coaching linebackers in addition to his duties as Special Teams Coordinator, so these vacancy titles aren’t set in stone but give a decent idea of the holes in Locksley’s staff.
Locksley offered the defensive coordinator job to former Tennessee special teams coordinator and safeties coach Charles Kelly, but he turned it down and will spend the 2019 season as Alabama’s defensive backs coach. The only other names that had been linked to the job were New York Jets defensive backs coach and former Maryland safety Dennard Wilson, and Oakland Raiders defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley. However neither appear likely for the position at this point, forcing Locksley back to the drawing board in his search for a defensive coordinator. Likewise, there are no names being circulated for either the defensive line or linebackers coaching positions.