Unhappy with Gary Crowton, Maryland will negotiate offensive coordinator's departure

The Baltimore Sun

Gary Crowton is out as Maryland's offensive coordinator, and his departure will be negotiated between him and the school, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

It could be that Crowton and Maryland will agree to a negotiated buyout under which the school will be responsible for some -- but not all -- of the balance of his three-year contract. He makes a guaranteed $500,000 per year.

If Crowton were found in breach of contract, Maryland would not be responsible for the balance. I don't know if that possibility will enter into the negotiations or not.

I do know that Maryland was unhappy with Crowton, who had publicly reached out to Colorado State and declared his interest in the head coaching job. 

After Crowton made his interest in the Rams job known, he texted me on Friday and said: "I am very happy at Maryland. I am looking forward to having a winning season in 2012." But the story of his interest in the other job lingered, and Maryland was not pleased at the impression it created.

The performance of Crowton's offense was also a consideration by Maryland, of course. The Terps ranked 10th in scoring offense in the 12-team ACC. They were 10th in passing offense and 3rd in rushing offense.

A search for his successor will begin immediately. The terms of his leaving will be made public once they are finalized.

Crowton did not respond to requests for comment.

Of obvious interest is whom Maryland hires to replace Crowton and what that hire means to Maryland quarterbacks Danny O'Brien and C.J. Brown.

Crowton is a former head coach (BYU, Louisiana Tech) and a football lifer. He won a national championship as LSU's offensive coordinator, popularized a version of the wide-receiver screen as coordinator of the Chicago Bears and was instrumental in bringing longtime friend Chip Kelly to Oregon.

This season, the Terps were 2-10 and O'Brien -- playing in the hurry-up spread offense with option runs built in -- clearly wasn't the same quarterback as he was in his rookie season.

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