Bowl-bound Terps rehire Krivak as coach Maryland-Louisiana Tech in Independence Dec. 15


University of Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said last night that he had retained Joe Krivak as head football coach and that Maryland will accept an invitation Saturday to the Poulan-Weed Eater Independence Bowl to play Louisiana Tech.

The Independence Bowl is played Dec. 15 in Shreveport, La.

Geiger did not announce the terms of Krivak's contract, but said he and Krivak would announce them at a news conference Monday. Krivak is believed to have accepted a contract for at least two years. He made a base salary of $91,000 last year.

Krivak, who has an 18-25-1 career record at Maryland, is in the fourth and final year of his contract. Saturday's 35-30 upset win over Virginia completed Maryland's regular season at 6-5, Krivak's first winning season and the school's first since 1985. The win also put Maryland back into the bowl picture after losses to North Carolina and Penn State.

Krivak, 55, was on his way to West Virginia last night to visit family for Thanksgiving and could not be reached.

Geiger, who was named athletic director in September, said he finalized the deal with Independence Bowl officials last night, forcing him to make the announcement on Krivak's rehiring, which was to have come Monday.

Geiger said he came to terms with Krivak earlier this week, as the two held three morning meetings.

"I decided it [Krivak's contract renewal], and I've been all over the place on the issue," said Geiger last night. "The meetings we held were positive, and I feel that Joe and I were on the same page about a lot of issues."

"I was impressed with Joe's philosophies, knowledge of the game and his willingness to want to build a good football team," said Geiger. "What stood out most was his honesty and straightforwardness. I like his fire, and I think we can work together well to build this program."

During his four years, Krivak said his program was hampered by a tough schedule, poor facilities, high academic standards and entrance requirements for freshmen.

Geiger previously said the Terps schedule was committed to 2000, and the university has begun renovations of Byrd Stadium. Maryland's athletic department has 18 entrance exemptions, with a maximum of 10 allowed for football.

"As for the exemptions, they will remain the same, but we will be working with the university more closely on individual admits," said Geiger. "I have also talked to Joe about using the fine athletes we already have and building from there."

Maryland's acceptance of the bowl bid is surprising. On Sunday, Geiger said the Terps could not play in the game because its date fell during Maryland's exam week.

But Geiger said he was in contact with Independence Bowl officials Tuesday, and an unofficial invitation was extended. Geiger also said the university's Executive Committee of Athletic Counsel -- an advisory group to university president William E. Kirwan on athletics -- voted yesterday in favor of the team's playing in the bowl, then recommended it to Kirwan, who also approved.

The advisory group's recommendation was that players and band members finish their academic work before Christmas, Geiger said.

Geiger said Maryland will accept the bid when it is formally extended Saturday. Geiger said he will fly to Shreveport on Sunday.

"It just all came together tonight," said Geiger. "The board gave us and the band permission because they thought like I did, that a bowl would be good for the school and the program after what it had been through the past couple of years.

"They thought it would be appropriate for our young people, especially the seniors who have been so loyal to this program. This is a very special moment for our program."

"Upon closer inspection of Maryland's football program, they had the seventh-hardest schedule in the country, and they played six, possibly seven, bowl teams. We feel they have an excellent football team," said Brant Goyne, Independence Bowl chairman.

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