His time as the head coach for Florida was short and seems far into the past now. However, that does not mean Ron Zook is no longer making an impact on college football.
You can find Zook up at the University of Maryland serving as the senior analyst for the Terrapins. Zook was hired following a five-year stint in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers. He briefly served as the assistant special teams coordinator for the Salt Lake Stallions of the AAF.
Following the AAF’s folding, Terrapin’s head coach Mike Locksley saw an opportunity to reunite with Zook.
A Little Role Reversal
During Zook’s time at Florida, Locksley served as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. Zook said he loves what Locksley is doing up in Maryland and has high expectations for the team’s future.
Locksley spent two years at Alabama before being hired by Maryland. He was the offensive coordinator for a national championship appearance. So far while at the helm at Maryland, Locksley owns a 6-17 record. However, in 2020, Locksley went 2-3. One of those wins was against Penn State–which had an off year, but is still a top Big Ten program.
Battling Against COVID-19
The Terrapins were hit hard by COVID-19. Maryland only played five games of an eight-game schedule last year. The three games that were canceled were due to COVID-19 cases on the team. The missed games were against Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. The latter two are two legitimate games that Maryland could have added to the win column had those been played.
Zook said he was one of three coaches on the whole staff that did not contract the virus. Zook said that coaching during the pandemic has been a tough experience.
The Bright Spots for Maryland
If you ask Ron Zook what is a bright spot to Maryland, he would say an improving defense is one of them. When talking about Terrapins’ defensive coordinator Jon Hoke–who is also a former Gators coach–Zook said the defense improved in 2020.
The average points per game given up by the defense dropped from 34.7 to 32 points. The defense also held opponents to 70 less yards per game than the year before.