Alabama offensive coordinator and former Gators assistant coach Mike Locksley has returned home.
The former running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for Florida landed a head coaching gig at the University of Maryland in early December. After working on staff with Nick Saban and Alabama as the offensive coordinator, the Terps have brought back a home-grown talent in Locksley. Locksley grew up in the Washington D.C. area and previously worked with Maryland in two separate coaching stints.
Locksley, who was awarded the Broyles Award this season for being the top assistant coach in college football, helped Alabama to a 14-1 record with its only loss to the Clemson Tigers in the National Championship.
Locksley’s offense ranked seventh in the nation last season, with the rushing offense ranked at 36, while the passing offense finished at seventh. Locksley hopes to continue his same offensive aggression when he takes over the Terps offense next year.
From Coordinator to Head Coach
Locksley takes over the Maryland program for the second time, after serving as interim coach in 2015 after the firing of Randy Edsall. Locksley foresees his toughest task will be the responsibilities he’ll have to maintain on both sides of the ball transferring as a coordinator to head coach.
Locksley has had one prior head coaching job at New Mexico. There, he led the Lobos to an underwhelming 2-26 record over a three-season span from 2009-2011. He’s shown to prove himself, however, with his recent stints at Florida and Alabama.
He also has an excellent track record with the school and D.C. area. His first stint with the Terps had him as running backs coach from 1997 to 2002, while he later returned in 2012 to become offensive coordinator for four years.
Learning from Saban
Locksley credits six-time champion and Alabama head coach Nick Saban for learning a lot about how to run a program and will take it with him at Maryland.
“The last three years I spent at Alabama and working under coach (Nick) Saban have been awesome for me as a coach,” Locksley said in an interview with Steve Russell. “I’ve been able to add to my toolbox, per se, and definitely will add some of the processes I learned down at Alabama in place up here to try and get this program moving forward.”
Locksley will remain a pivotal member in the offense as head coach and will look to develop the offense around transfer QB Josh Jackson.
Locksley put together his Maryland coaching staff with five key points in mind in each hire: knowledge, scheme, evaluating prospects, recruiting and mentoring.
Scottie Montgomery will take over as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Jon Hoke will serve as defensive coordinator while Jon Papuchis will command the special teams unit for the Terps next season.