Charlie Taaffe, Maryland's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, resigned Saturday to "explore other coaching opportunities," catching coach Ralph Friedgen somewhat by surprise less than two months before spring practice begins.
Taaffe is the second coordinator to leave the Terps' staff this offseason, as defensive coordinator Gary Blackney announced his retirement immediately after Maryland's second consecutive 5-6 finish. Taaffe and Blackney were the first coaches Friedgen hired when he took over the program in 2001.
Friedgen said a national search to replace Taaffe will begin immediately, but he didn't have a timetable for the hire.
"It's a challenge, it really is," Friedgen said of replacing two coordinators within 2 1/2 months. "I'm definitely going to look for a guy who is first of all a good quarterbacks coach, and then the next thing is a good recruiter. You can't have enough good recruiters on your staff."
Friedgen said he may call the offensive plays next season, depending on whom he hires.
Former Kansas State assistant Chris Cosh was hired in mid-December as defensive coordinator.
Friedgen said he was unaware of what other jobs Taaffe might be interested in.
Taaffe was not available to comment, but he said in a statement: "My family and I are appreciative of the five great years we have enjoyed at the University of Maryland. ... I wish the players and staff much success as I explore other coaching opportunities."
Taaffe, 55, has head coaching experience, most recently with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes in 1999 and 2000. He also was The Citadel's head coach from 1987 to 1996.
Maryland is scheduled to begin spring practice April 1, and Friedgen said he will be working with the quarterbacks.
The Terps will take the field with Sam Hollenbach as their starter, but Friedgen reiterated that the competition is open, and that he is "looking for Jordan Steffy and Chris Turner, and anyone else who could challenge."