LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton told a Baton Rouge newspaper today that he has accepted the offer from new Maryland coach Randy Edsall to come to College Park.
Crowton said Wednesday night that he was interviewed earlier in the day and offered a three-year deal worth $500,000 annually.
Crowton had one year left on his contract, but LSU coach Les Miles said that he was going to restructure an offense that finished last in pass offense in the SEC in 2010 and 11th in total offense. The Tigers were ranked last in the league in total offense in 2009.
A large part of that had to be the lack of development of LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson. Crowton won't have that issue at Maryland, where he will inherit ACC rookie of the year Danny O'Brien.
Saying he had not been fired by Miles, Crowton told the Baton Rouge Advocate, "I did I accept the job. I met with Coach Miles this morning. I talked over with Maren (his wife) and my family last night. This was a very hard decision because there are such wonderful things at LSU."
Crowton, 53, coached with Edsall on the staff at Boston College from 1991 through 1993. He also was an offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears and at Oregon before Chip Kelly. He was the head coach at BYU from 2001 through 2004.
"He (Edsall) wants me to install the same offense I ran at Boston College when we were there together (1991-93),at Louisiana Tech and at BYU. It's more of a wide-open style and that's very inviting to me," Crowton said.
Despite falling out of favor with fans after his first season in Baton Rouge, when the Tigers won the BCS national championship in 2007 with fifth-year senior quarterback Matt Flynn, Crowton's offensive philosophy could be a good fit with the attacking defense the Terps played under Don Brown, one of two members of Ralph Friedgen's staff who have been retained so far.
Crowton came under fire last season when the confusion at the end of the Tennessee game nearly caused the Tigers to lose. LSU finished 11-2 and No. 8 in the country, but it was widely reported in Louisiana that Miles was not going to retain Crowton or take him to Ann Arbor had he accepted the Michigan job.
But Crowton said that he and Miles left on good terms.
"Coach Miles gave me his blessing. We talked about the great things we've accomplished here together," Crowton was quoted as saying, "I thanked him for giving me the opportunity and we spent some time reminiscing. Then he stood up, gave me a big hug and I hugged him back.
"I never felt any pressure to leave. I always wanted to get better on offense. I think we took strides this season. The style we played wasn't wide-open, but I felt like it was what we needed to run here. I never felt any pressure that (Miles) was not gonna retain me."
Maryland athletic department spokesman Shawn Nestor said Wednesday night that an announcement regarding any new additions to Edsall's staff could come by the end of the week.