Baltimore — Randy Edsall, who diligently worked to build the Connecticut football program into a winner, has been hired to pull off a similar feat at Maryland.
Edsall was picked Sunday to replace Ralph Friedgen, who was fired after a 10-year run at his alma mater.
Edsall spent 12 years at Connecticut. He guided the Huskies out of Division I-AA (now FCS) and into the Big East, where he won a pair of conference titles and earned postseason appearances in each of the last four years.
Connecticut lost to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.
The 52-year-old Edsall emerged as a surprise candidate for the job over the weekend. He beat out former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who was considered the favorite when the search began on Dec. 20.
Edsall, the 2010 Big East coach of the year, led the Huskies to eight or more wins in each of the last four seasons. He finished with a 74-70 record at UConn.
Edsall did not accompany the team on its charter flight back to Connecticut, and players said he told them nothing of his coaching plans after the Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma.
Maryland announced the hiring in a short press release Sunday night. The College Park school will hold a news conference this afternoon to introduce Edsall as its new football coach.
Clemson lets 2 aides go
Columbia, S.C. — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says offensive coordinator Billy Napier and running backs coach Andre Powell won’t be back with the Tigers.
Napier, who is 31, had been the youngest offensive coordinator in the Football Bowl Subdivision when he was elevated to the position last season.
WR Gurley to enter NFL Draft
Columbia, S.C. — South Carolina third-year sophomore receiver Tori Gurley is headed for the NFL Draft. Gurley told ESPN on Sunday that he plans to give up his final two season with the Gamecocks and pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.
Muschamp adds pair at Florida
Gainesville, Fla. — Coach Will Muschamp’s staff at Florida is taking shape.
A day after landing Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis at the same position, the Gators hired receivers coach Aubrey Hill (Miami receivers coach) and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson (Texas Tech secondary coach).
Report: Vikes will hire Frazier
Leslie Frazier has agreed to become the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Frazier was named Minnesota’s interim coach on Nov. 22, a day after Brad Childress was fired. The Vikings finished 6-10, last place in the NFC North, this season. They were 3-3 under Frazier.
Elway, Broncos reuniting?
Denver — Hall of Famer John Elway is expected to rejoin the Denver Broncos as their chief football executive by midweek, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Sunday. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal to bring Elway back to the franchise hasn’t been completed.
No decision yet on Cowboys coach
Philadelphia — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants the search for the next coach to be short. Jones expects to decide within days if he’ll remove the interim head coach tag from Jason Garrett and give him the job or go with another candidate.
Coughlin safe in New York
Landover, Md. — New York Giants co-owner John Mara says Tom Coughlin will return to coach the team next season.
Mara spoke after the Giants failed for the second straight year to make the playoffs.
O’s Simon main suspect in killing
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — Baltimore Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon is the main suspect in a fatal shooting New Year’s Eve in the Dominican Republic, police said Sunday.
The pitcher is suspected of killing 25-year-old Michel Castillo Almonte and wounding his 17-year-old brother during a celebration in the northeast coastal town of Luperon, police said in a statement. No motive was disclosed. Simon is from the Dominican Republic, and police said he fled after the violence.
Felipe Alou Jr., a Dominican representative for the Orioles, said he spoke with Simon on Saturday and the player said he was in the area when the violence occurred but insisted he was not involved in the shootings.
Mavs F Butler may miss months
Dallas — Caron Butler could be out at least a couple of months because of a knee injury, a tough blow for the already ailing Dallas Mavericks.