COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Saying that he is ready to take Maryland "on this journey to greatness," Randy Edsall was introduced as Ralph Friedgen's successor Monday.
A native of Glen Rock, Pa., who recalled seeing his first college football game at Byrd Stadium as a teenager and later attending Lefty Driesell's basketball camp, Edsall, 52, called athletic director Kevin Anderson's offer to coach the Terrapins "a dream come true."
Putting on a red Maryland cap, the former Connecticut coach turned to his family seated in the front row. "I look pretty good in red, don't I?" he said, smiling.
"It's not every day in your life that you get the opportunity to do something that you really wanted to do once you entered the career field that you chose," said Edsall, who is expected to make about $2 million a year.
Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach also interviewed. Anderson denied speculation that Dr. William E. Kirwan, the chancellor of the University of Maryland system and former president of the school, quashed Leach's candidacy. Kirwan, through a spokesman, also denied it.
Anderson said Edsall is capable of having the Terps contend for national championships.
Meanwhile, Connecticut named Hank Hughes interim head coach. Hughes was UConn's assistant head coach for defense the past six seasons.
Miami hires RB coach
CORAL GABLES — Miami hired Terry Richardson as its running backs coach.
Richardson spent 12 years at Connecticut in the same capacity. The Huskies had four individual 1,000-yard rushers in the past three seasons, including Donald Brown's national-best 2,083 in 2008 and Jordan Todman's 1,695 yards this season.
Richardson grew up in Fort Lauderdale.
ESPN PUNISHES ANNOUNCER: ESPN pulled announcer Ron Franklin from its radio coverage of Saturday's Fiesta Bowl after he reportedly berated sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards. Internet reports said Franklin called her "sweet baby" in a condescending tone Friday. When she objected, he used a derogatory term. Edwards said a colleague reported the incident to ESPN officials. Franklin said in a statement: "I said some things I shouldn't have and am sorry. I deserved to be taken off the Fiesta Bowl." ESPN said in a statement that "adhering to our personal conduct policies and showing respect for colleagues are of the utmost importance to our company."
Auburn: The Tigers arrived for the BCS Championship Game, landing at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix just before sunset in a jumbo jet that took nearly a half hour to clear of about 400 passengers. Players filed into buses waiting on the tarmac and headed to the team hotel, readying for a week of preparation for Monday's game against Oregon. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for so many people," coach Gene Chizik said. The Ducks arrived Sunday.
Georgia: Coach Mark Richt has not yet decided whether to suspend Marcus Dowtin after learning the backup linebacker was charged with assault in May. Dowtin reportedly knocked a man unconscious in a bar fight in Ocean City, Md. Court records show the case was resolved Dec. 21.
Indiana: Receiver Tandon Doss will give up his senior season to enter the NFL draft. He was an all-conference choice for a second straight season after leading the Big Ten with 175.8 all-purpose yards per game.
IOWA: Running back and leading rusher Adam Robinson was dismissed from the Hawkeyes one week after he was charged with marijuana possession. Marcus Coker will likely be Iowa's top back heading into spring practice.
LSU: Running back Stevan Ridley was cleared to play against Texas A&M in Friday's Cotton Bowl. Coach Les Miles said last month that the Tigers' leading rusher (1,042 yards, 14 touchdowns) might miss the game because of a "one-time" academic violation.
Michigan: Coach Rich Rodriguez returned to work two days after a bowl loss that heightened speculation about his future. Athletic director Dave Brandon plans to meet with him soon and expects to have an update this week. Calls seeking comment from Rodriguez were not returned.
Missouri: In a "bittersweet'' decision, junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert will make himself available for the NFL draft. The two-year starter had a strong Insight Bowl, going 41-of-57 for 434 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Iowa.
Oklahoma: Linebacker Ronnell Lewis was released from a Phoenix-area hospital and is returning home. Lewis suffered a mild concussion during Saturday's Fiesta Bowl victory over Connecticut. Oklahoma's head athletic trainer, Scott Anderson, said Lewis' prognosis is good.
PITTSBURGH: Dave Wannstedt, ousted as coach last month, said he won't be on the sideline for Saturday's Compass Bowl against Kentucky. Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will be interim coach. Wannstedt said it would distract attention from his players if he accompanied the team. Meanwhile, Mike Haywood, who replaced Wannstedt at Pitt for two weeks then was fired after he was charged with felony domestic violence, pleaded not guilty. His next appearance is Jan. 11 in South Bend, Ind.
Rutgers: Frank Cignetti was named Scarlet Knights offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Cignetti spent the previous two seasons at Pittsburgh in the same capacity.
UCLA: All-America linebacker Akeem Ayers, saying it's what's best for his family, will forego his senior season and apply for the NFL draft. He finished third in voting for the Butkus Award and was first-team All-Pac-10.