Dec. 3, 1996
Maryland Terrapins Name New Head Football Coach
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland announced the selection of Ron Vanderlinden, Assistant Head Coach at Northwestern University, as its head football coach. Northwestern is currently ranked 10th in the Associated Press poll and will play in the Citrus Bowl. Vanderlinden has also served as defensive coordinator and as an outstanding recruiter for the Wildcats Big 10 Conference football champions.
As Northwestern's defensive coordinator Vanderlinden was in charge of a unit that finished first in the nation in 1995 in scoring defense (12.7 ppg) and third in turnover margin (+1.82). In addition, he also coached the Wildcats' punt return unit which finished first in the nation in 1992, fourth in 1993 and ninth in 1995.
Vanderlinden went to Northwestern from Colorado where he spent nine successful seasons. During his tenure in Boulder, he coached three All-Americans and five First-Team All-Big 8 players. Colorado won the 1990 National Championship, three Big 8 Championships and played in six bowl games during that time. In 1996 Northwestern ranked 13th nationally in net punting and tied for 20th nationally in turnover margin. Prior to Northwestern and Colorado, he served as an offensive coach at Ball State and under Bo Schembechler.
Deborah A. Yow. Maryland's Athletic Director said, "Coach Vanderlinden was an important part of the rebuilding of two stagnant football programs at outstanding academic institutions -- the University of Colorado into National Champions and Northwestern University into a Top 10 program and Big 10 champions. Maryland is pleased to have won out over a number of respected NCAA Division I institutions in major conferences in signing this highly respected coach. He is a rising star in NCAA Division IA football and comes to us on enthusiastic recommendations of several of the greatest names in college football."
"Coach Vanderlinden's emphasis on academics, character, and bowl-caliber, nationally ranked achievement is a good fit for our plans for Terrapin football. He is fully committed to returning Terrapin football to national prominence," said Yow.
"Ron's experience in helping rebuild at Colorado and Northwestern will serve him well at Maryland," said Northwestern Director of Athletics Rick Taylor. He is a man of great ability and integrity. Maryland's gain is our loss. We all wish Ron and his family nothing but the best."
"Vandy is a student of the game," said former Colorado Head Coach Bill McCartney. "He brings energy and fire to the game. He is a very bright guy who is going to stay on the cutting edge of college football. I expect Maryland to be a very physical and a very versatile football team on both sides of the ball. I expect them to run the ball with authority and throw the ball with continuity. On defense, they will play with an aggressive, challenging, exciting style. In addition, he is an outstanding recruiter who can recruit on a broad front and has been very successful wherever he has recruited."
His work is cut out for him, with the loss of 12 key seniors on offense and defense from Maryland's 5-6 team this past season. Intense recruiting and player development will be required of Maryland's new football staff during upcoming seasons, as they rebuild the foundation for a nationally respected football program. This will meet the firm goal of moving Maryland football to the same level of its other respected and highly achieving teams.
NOTE: A press conference with Coach Vanderlinden and Deborah A. Yow will convene in the Grand Ball Room of the Stamp Student Union Building on the University of Maryland campus at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday December 4, 1996. Please park on the concourse of the football stadium.