Six candidates to watch in the search for Maryland's next coach

In his comments after coach Randy Edsall was fired, Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson said the schools is looking for its next football coach to be someone to "excite the fan base," particularly on the offensive side of the ball. College football is filled with young offensive minds right now, many of whom have recently ascended to head coaching jobs.

Here's a look at six candidates who could be worth watching in the search the replace Edsall.


Matt Campbell, coach, Toledo

Experience: Fourth full season (fifth overall)


Record: 31-13 (5-0 this season)

Other experience: Assistant at Toledo, Bowling Green, Mount Union

Skinny: The 35-year-old has Toledo up to No. 22 in the Associated Press top 25 after a 5-0 start that included a win at Arkansas. Campbell, who was the Rockets' offensive coordinator and offensive line coach before assuming the head job in December 2011, has won nine games twice in his three full seasons of coaching and has his team on pace for another. He's 2-1 in bowl games and would bring a youthful energy to Maryland. He was the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision when he took over, and he's still the second youngest.

Justin Fuente, coach, Memphis

Experience: Fourth season

Record: 22-20 (5-0 this season)

Other experience: Assistant at TCU, Illinois State

Skinny: The 39-year-old is one of the hottest coaching names in college football right now. Memphis was a combined 7-17 in his first two seasons, but under Fuente's guidance, the Tigers broke through with a 10-win season a year ago and have kept that success going this season. Fuente was a former quarterback at Oklahoma and Murray State, and he's carried that offensive acumen into his coaching. Memphis currently ranks fourth nationally in points per game with 47.8 and quarterback Paxton Lynch has thrown 10 touchdowns to no interceptions this season. Fuente took over a tough rebuilding job with Memphis and has quickly put together a successful turnaround.

Scott Frost, offensive coordinator, Oregon

Experience: None as head coach

Record: n/a

Other experience: Assistant at Oregon and Northern Iowa; graduate assistant at Kansas State, Nebraska


Skinny: The 40-year old has been a rising star in coaching circles thanks to his experience under Chip Kelly at Oregon and has been with the Ducks since 2009, taking over offensive coordinator duties two years ago. He helped guide the Ducks to an 11-2 record in 2013 and a national championship game appearance a year ago. But it remains to be seen how much of that was Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, last year's Heisman Trophy winner. Frost's offense has regressed significantly this season, and the Ducks are 3-3. Frost is a former quarterback at Nebraska and Stanford who played safety in the NFL and coached on both sides of the ball throughout his career.

Tom Herman, coach, Houston

Experience: First season

Record: 5-0

Other experience: Assistant at Ohio State, Iowa State, Rice, Texas State, Sam Houston State

Skinny: The 40-year-old helped develop three stud quarterbacks for the national champion Buckeyes a year ago and appears poised to lift a Cougars program that had won eight games the previous two seasons. Houston is No. 24 in the Associated Press top 25 and has put up impressive offensive numbers. The Cougars are averaging 46.4 points per game and run a balanced offense with their 573 yards game coming on a nearly even split between passing (286) and rushing (287). Herman has also recruited well despite facing stiff competition for talent in Texas and has the No. 35 class for 2016, according to 247sports.com.

Mike Locksley, interim coach, Maryland

Experience: First season (fourth overall)

Record: 2-26

Other experience: Coach at New Mexico; assistant at Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Army, Pacific, Towson

Skinny: Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson said Sunday that he expects Locksley to be a candidate for the job. The 45-year-old has spent the past three-plus years as Maryland's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, his second stint with the Terps after serving as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Locksley's offenses in College Park have struggled at times during his tenure, mostly due to a lack of consistent quarterback play. He's regarded as an ace recruiter who has spearheaded the recent "movement" of getting highly regarded local prospects to stay close to home, including 2016 quarterback commit Dwayne Haskins Jr. Locksley can stake his claim to the permanent position and impress the higher-ups in the athletic department with a strong finish to the season.

Matt Rhule, coach, Temple

Experience: Third season

Record: 13-16 (5-0 this season)

Other experience: Assistant with New York Giants; Assistant at Temple, Western Carolina, UCLA, Buffalo, Albright

Skinny: The 40-year-old has extensive Big Ten Conference ties as a former Penn State linebacker who played under Joe Paterno in the mid-1990s, and he's also orchestrated a turnaround at Temple. The Owls were 8-16 in his first two seasons, but he has them off to a hot start that included a 27-10 upset win over his alma mater. Save for a year as the Giants assistant offensive line coach in 2012, Rhule has been at Temple since 2006, including three years as offensive coordinator under Al Golden from 2008-10. The Owls have scored at least 34 points three times in their five games this season and their defense ranks 13th nationally in points per game by allowing 14.4.

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