Maryland offensive coordinator Gary Crowton will not return next season, a source familiar with the program said Wednesday.
Crowton was in his first year with the Terrapins. A team spokesman said the department does not discuss personnel matters and declined further comment.
Crowton is the first assistant to depart after coach Randy Edsall’s first season. Maryland matched a school record for losses, going 2-10 while dropping their last eight – including the final seven by double digits, another dubious program record.
A former head coach at Louisiana Tech and Brigham Young who recently had stints as an offensive coordinator at Oregon (2005-06) and Louisiana State (2007-10), Crowton told the Denver Post last week he was interested in the head coaching vacancy at Colorado State. The school eventually hired Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain.
Crowton received a three-year contract from Maryland, though the university was not in possession of a signed version of it as of last week. He received $375,000 in base pay and $507,440 in overall compensation this year, as well as $37,500 in relocation assistance.
In his lone year in College Park, Crowton oversaw an erratic offense that seemed a poor fit for incumbent quarterback Danny O’Brien.
Nationally, the Terps are ranked 44th in rushing offense, 68th in total offense, 77th in passing offense and 89th scoring offense this season. Maryland’s offense accounted for four touchdowns in the first quarter in a dozen games (the defense added two more) all season, including just one passing touchdown.
During Maryland’s media day, Crowton said he hoped to create pressure for opponents with his variation of the spread offense.
“I want to have the ability to be on the offensive mindset, an attacking mindset,” Crowton said. “Not the mindset we’re catching and we’re reacting offensively, but we’re attacking and making them catch us.”
It is uncertain what Crowton thought of Maryland’s eventual struggles. Edsall does not permit his assistant coaches to speak to the media during the season. What was clear was the Terps were in flux at quarterback for more than a month until an injury settled the quandary for the final two games.
O’Brien, who threw 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a freshman in a pro-style system, struggled mightily as a sophomore. He threw seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his second season, was benched by midseason and missed the last two games with a broken non-throwing arm.
Sophomore C.J. Brown, while a less accurate passer, rushed for 574 yards, a school record for a quarterback. He made five starts for the Terps.
Crowton wasn’t the day’s only departure from Maryland. The school also said redshirt freshman wide receiver Adrian Coxson will not be back in 2012.
Coxson, a Baltimore native, originally signed with Florida in 2010 but left the Gators before the end of preseason camp. He transferred to Maryland and sat out that season in accordance with NCAA rules.
He played mostly on special teams this fall, hauling in four receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. He had a breakout performance of sorts Oct. 29 against Boston College, collecting three receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown, but had only one catch in the final month of the season.
Coxson is the eighth Maryland player with eligibility remaining to depart since the end of the season, and the 20th with eligibility left to leave since Edsall’s hire in January.