By Jeff Barker
The Baltimore Sun
7:14 PM EST, January 8, 2014
Lee Hull, the wide receivers coach and a valuable recruiter for Maryland the past six seasons, will be introduced Thursday as the new head coach of Morgan State, according to the school.
In hiring Hull, Morgan State is trying to transition to a new football culture emphasizing in-state recruiting and improved academic performances.
“The composition of our team is over 70 percent out-of-state kids,” athletic director Floyd Kerr said Wednesday. “Looking at the University of Maryland and Towson, they have retooled under new coaches and [have emphasized] in-state kids. So, yes, there is football talent in the state of Maryland. That model is successful, and we want to be part of it. We wanted someone with strong Maryland recruiting and Maryland ties.”
Morgan State announced in November that Donald Hill-Eley would not return as coach. The university allowed Hill-Eley's contract to expire after the 44-year-old coach went 59-76 in 12 years.
Hull, 48, was the last remaining holdover from the staff of former Terps coach Ralph Friedgen, who was dismissed in 2010. Hull is the second Terps assistant to claim a head coaching job since the regular season ended. Defensive line coach Greg Gattuso is the new coach at Albany.
Morgan State is eager to improve its program’s classroom performance. The team’s Academic Progress Rate — which the NCAA uses to track players’ paths to graduation — is low enough that the school is at risk for being banned from the postseason, Kerr said.
“We’re in the evaluation,” Kerr said. “We have some pretty critical APR problems. Next spring that record will be publicly announced. You have to win in the classroom.”
Under Hull, Maryland’s receiving corps may be the team’s strongest unit. It is led by Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, but Levern Jacobs also made a significant contribution this season. Jacobs’ brother, Taivon, a highl -touted recruit, is expected to play next season after redshirting in 2013.
Hull also coached Torrey Smith (Ravens) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (Indianapolis Colts), among other NFL players who played for the Terps.
Hull was not available for comment until Thursday morning’s news conference.
Morgan State is hoping he can improve in the Bears’ 5-7 finish (5-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) this season.
“Bethune-Cookman is making their run now,” Kerr said, referencing the reigning MEAC champions. “It’s our turn.”
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun