More than six weeks after being hired as Maryland’s new football coach, Michael Locksley took a significant step toward finalizing his staff Thursday with the hirings of six assistants, including the team’s offensive coordinator.
In a statement, Locksley announced Thursday that former East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery has been hired as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Montgomery, 40, was fired toward the end of the 2018 season with a 9-26 career record.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who lost his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa after leading the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2016, announced on The Players' Tribune on Wednesday that he will transfer to Oklahoma.
Locksley has also hired Penn offensive coordinator John Reagan to coach the offensive line and Mike Miller, a former graduate assistant at Alabama and student assistant Clemson, as the team’s tight ends coach.
Three other assistants whose employment at Maryland had been previously confirmed by the university have also been hired, Locklsley said.
Former North Carolina defensive coordinator John Papuchis will serve as special teams coordinator. Former DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks will coach the team’s running backs, including two of his former stars, Anthony McFarland Jr. and Lorenzo Harrison III.
Former Rutgers cornerbacks* coach Cory Robinson, whose coaching career began at Calvert Hall, will coach the defensive backs and be the team’s defensive passing game coordinator.
Locksley has four more positions to fill to complete his staff.
“I’m thrilled to announce this initial group of coaching hires,” Locksley said in a statement. “Our coaching staff is vital as we build our Maryland football family. Each coach has an excellent football mind and more importantly, pride themselves on the mentorship and development they provide to our student-athletes. The varying range of experience these coaches bring, along with several having local ties, will be a major benefit to our program.”
Locksley also announced two members of his support staff — Lloyd Richards Jr. as director of football operations and Will Christopherson as director of player personnel.
After signing just six players on the first national signing day last month, Locksley has less than three weeks to bring in up to 19 more players for the 2019 class. The Terps, who had two straight top-30 classes under former coach DJ Durkin, currently rank 82nd nationally and last in the Big Ten, according to 247Sports.
Only one of Maryland’s nonconference Football Bowl Subdivision opponents on next season’s schedule — No. 85 Temple — rank behind the Terps.
The hiring of Montgomery came two days after Alabama wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis became the offensive coordinator at Michigan. There was widespread speculation during the College Football Playoff that Gattis would come to Maryland with Locksley, Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2018.
Because of that, and the way Maryland’s offense fluctuated last season between being unstoppable (in particular in a 52-51 overtime defeat to then-No. 10 Ohio State) and unwatchable (several games), most of the scrutiny will fall on Montgomery.
Michigan hired Josh Gattis away from Alabama to be Jim Harbaugh's offensive coordinator.
By Larry Lage
Jan 10, 2019 | 6:35 PM
A former wide receiver at Duke who played three seasons in the NFL, Montgomery started his coaching career at his alma mater as a wide receivers coach before taking the same position with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. He spent three seasons with the Steelers, helping develop Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace.
Montgomery returned to Duke in 2013 as assistant head coach to David Cutcliffe, while coaching the wide receivers and being the team’s passing game coordinator. He served his last two seasons with the Blue Devils as offensive coordinator.
During the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Duke averaged better than 30 points and 400 yards a game. While his tenure a a head coach was similar to that of Locksley, his East Carolina teams put up respectable offensive numbers.
During his three seasons, the Pirates finished 23rd in the nation in 2016 in total offense (467.1), 42nd in 2017 (425.6) and 56th this past season (414.4). In the same stretch, the Terps were 95th (377.8), 119th (323.3) and 94th last season (371.4).