Football Coach Ralph Friedgen Signs 10-Year Contract
Dec. 11, 2001
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
University of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen has agreed to a 10-year contract, through January of 2012, including enhanced financial terms, director of athletics Deborah A. Yow announced today.
"Coach Friedgen has made extraordinary progress and is fully committed to continue to build Maryland football into a perennial, Top 20 program," said Yow. "There could be no better fit for our institution. He shares our values related to graduation rates and embraces the concept of the student-athlete."
Said Friedgen, "As everyone knows, the University of Maryland is my alma mater and a place that is very important to me. I consider it a privilege to be the head football coach here, and I very much appreciate the support of our entire university. I came back to Maryland a year ago with a vision for this program, and I am anxious to see the plan through. This contract allows me to do that. Of course, this season has been extremely special. My hope is that the tremendous enthusiasm and excitement that our success has generated will serve as the impetus for future breakthroughs. It is vitally important that our fans and supporters are behind us in tangible ways. There is still much work ahead of us - in the way of season-ticket sales, football team house expansion, and fund-raising - if we want to remain competitive nationally. Together, there is no doubt in my mind we can get it done."
Friedgen, 54, guided the Terps to a 10-1 regular season record and an outright Atlantic Coast Conference championship this past season, his first as a head coach. Maryland, currently ranked sixth in both major national polls, will face fifth-ranked Florida in the Jan. 2 Orange Bowl.
A unanimous choice for ACC Coach of the Year, Friedgen has already been named national Coach of the Year by a number of sources. Last week he was recognized as the Home Depot National Coach of the Year on ESPN's College Football Awards Show, and he also has been cited as the country's top coach in 2001 by Football News, CNN/SI and ABC Sports Online. He also is in line for other major national Coach of the Year honors.
A 1969 graduate of the University of Maryland, Friedgen signed a six-year contract when he was named the Terps' 33rd head football coach Nov. 30, 2000.