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Maryland football 'going to miss' Ryan Steinberg's work behind the scenes

Ryan Steinberg was a key figure behind the scenes, a North Potomac native and University of Maryland graduate who grew from a student manager with the Terps into Maryland's assistant director of football operations and recruiting.

Next season will be the first since 2001 that Steinberg will not play a role within Maryland's program, having moved on to a job with the NCAA after this past season.

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For the Terps, Steinberg organized all on-campus recruiting visits, was in seemingly constant communication with high schools coaches and prospects, and he assisted in academic and compliance issues concerning prospective student-athletes.

Steinberg also once saved former Maryland offensive line coach Tom Brattan from an errant snap that would have hit an unsuspecting Brattan in the head if not for an alert Steinberg jumping in front, reaching out and catching the ball with one hand.

"In the time that I've been here, Ryan was a big part of what we were doing from a recruiting standpoint and just overall with our players," said Terps coach Randy Edsall, who has been with Maryland since 2011. "I'm just very thankful for what he did but also thankful that I was able to help him move on to the NCAA to help him achieve his long-range goal of being an athletic director.

"I think he'll do a great job with the NCAA. He's somebody that had a tremendous passion and love for Maryland. We're going to miss him, but it was time for him to spread his wings and to start preparing himself for what he wants to do in the future."

A graduate of Wootton High in Montgomery County, Steinberg was a student equipment manager with the Terps under former coach Ralph Friedgen from 2002 through 2006 and the head equipment manager from 2004 through 2006.

Steinberg also served as Maryland's "Gridiron Technology specialist" from January 2006 through May 2007, helping to implement and maintain a state-of-the-art computer program that aids coaches and players in simulating game action before eight seasons as a full-time member of Maryland's staff.

Steinberg was the Terps' assistant recruiting coordinator from 2007 through 2010 before taking over as assistant director of football operations and recruiting in 2011.

"Ryan, to me, is a great example," said Archbishop Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt, who was an offensive lineman and later a graduate assistant at Maryland. "Kids come to me now whether in our program or they just want to get into coaching or football in general, and I just tell them that this is a guy that got involved in the program and did whatever they asked him. Ryan is a guy who was going to do whatever they wanted, whether it was doing the water on Saturday nights or showing a recruit around the building that maybe wasn't a top-flight guy.

"I think his goals were to be in football, and I know he wants to be in administration, possibly as an athletic director or some kind of front office, and Ryan took the approach that I think is so valuable — be the best at whatever they give you. He did a great job with that."

Dialogue between Steinberg and the NCAA began last summer.

"I knew some people at the NCAA, and it came about this summer," Steinberg said in December during the buildup to Maryland's bowl game. "There were also some people at Maryland that knew some people at the NCAA that thought I would be good for it."

Steinberg sought advice from Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson before deciding to move on, as well as from Edsall, whom Steinberg said is possibly his biggest mentor.

"It's hard to leave Maryland," Steinberg said. "But at the same time, I had a lot of dialogue with coach Edsall, and he was fully supportive … and he told me that it's an opportunity you can't turn down. And I talked to Kevin Anderson, who is another mentor, and he said the same thing, 'You've got to do this if you've got a chance to go do it.'"

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