Alabama Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley will be named Maryland’s head football coach, sources told Stadium.
Locksley has agreed in principle to be the Terps’ coach and is expected to be introduced at a Thursday news conference, a source said. Tuesday, Locksley was named winner of the Frank Broyles Award, signifying the nation’s top assistant coach.
Locksley was one of three finalists along with Michigan Passing Game Coordinator Pep Hamilton and Maryland Interim Head Coach Matt Canada.
Locksley, 48, returns to Maryland, where he was the Terps’ interim coach in 2015. He also was Maryland’s offensive coordinator from 2012-15 and running backs coach from 1997-2002. A native of Washington D.C., Locksley is considered one of the nation’s top recruiters.
“Locksley has deep ties to the local community and relationships with former and current student-athletes and the Terp family near and far,” a source close to the search said last week. “He can seamlessly step in and provide an immediate impact in the DMV and help Maryland football to heal.”
Locksley replaces DJ Durkin, who was fired on Halloween after an investigation into the culture of the football program following the death of Jordan McNair. Locksley’s daughter, Kori was a friend and classmate to McNair in high school.
The Locksley family has experienced their own tragedy. Meiko Locksley, Mike Locksley’s 25-year-old son was murdered last year in Maryland. “Mike Locksley not only understands how to win, but he knows how to help Maryland move forward in the wake of the unimaginable,” a source said. “He’s lived it.”
After Durkin was hired as Maryland’s coach before the 2016 season, Locksley went to Alabama. In 2016, he was an offensive analyst and in 2017 was promoted to co-offensive coordinator. In 2018, he was named offensive coordinator for the Tide.
This season under Locksley, the Tide’s offense leads the nation in scoring (47.9 points per game) and ranks seventh in total offense (528 yards per game) despite quarterback Tua Tagovailoa not playing in the fourth quarter in nearly every game.
From 2009-11, Locksley was head coach for three seasons at New Mexico. “Locksley learned a lot about what not to do at New Mexico,” a source close to the search said. “He was a young coach who made mistakes, but has grown from them over the past decade, including three years under one of the most successful college coaches in history, Nick Saban. I would rather have the guy who has fallen and gotten up than one who has never faced adversity.”
Before New Mexico, Locksley was an assistant at Towson State, Navy Prep, Pacific, Army, Florida and Illinois in addition to his stint as Maryland’s running backs coach from 1997-2002.
Locksley is expected to remain with Alabama through the College Football Playoff. Saban has had several coordinators – Kirby Smart, Jim McElwain, Jeremy Pruitt and Lane Kiffin – hired as head coaches at other schools during the postseason. They all pulled double duty at both schools, except for Kiffin, who went to FAU full-time before the playoffs ended.
“Maryland football has been through unique hardships and they need Mike Locksley as much as Mike Locksley may need to be home with Maryland football,” a source said.