Al Seamonson is Maryland’s defensive coordinator for the Humanitarian Bowl.
As linebacker Dave Philistin sees it, it’s a job Seamonson is well-suited for – and has been for a while.
“He’s the perfect man for the job,” Philistin said. “He’s going to come out and show what he does in the bowl game. I really feel the respect he gets from the players and the other coaches [is significant]. It’s not my move, but if coach [Ralph] Friedgen asked what I thought of coach Seamonson as defensive coordinator, I would have said he should have been defensive coordinator quite a long time ago.”
Of course, there was an opportunity not that long ago for this to happen. Three years ago to be precise.
And at that point, Philistin though Seamonson (Maryland’s outside linebackers coach for the last eight years) would be his coordinator for the rest of his career.
That was after Philistin’s freshman season, when he played as a reserve. Gary Blackney stepped down hours after the season-ending loss at N.C. State, and Friedgen commenced a search for a new coordinator.
Then, as now, Seamonson was the logical in-house candidate. In that instance, Friedgen ultimately hired Chris Cosh, who was coming off a stint as the linebackers coach on the retiring Bill Snyder’s staff at Kansas State.
“I know they have their process they go through and everybody has to pay the bills,” Philistin said. “But as far as my standpoint on the situation I felt like and a lot of us felt like – you could take a poll of people and I bet 95 percent of them would be like [it’ll be Seamonson]. We bet that. I remember betting that freshman year. … The older guys said ‘Of course,’ too, and he wasn’t. I guess that’s the cards he was dealt.”
Now Cosh is back at Kansas State (and so is Snyder), and Seamonson’s still in College Park.
The look backward makes you wonder about a great what-if; had the Terps beaten N.C. State, when would Blackney have announced he was leaving? If it was later, would Seamonson have received a nod?
But the look forward is important, too. If the Terps handle Nevada’s heavy rushing attack with aplomb, will Seamonson be the long-term guy.
Philistin certainly has his opinion on the matter.
“He’s really brilliant,” Philistin said. “If there was a football IQ test and somebody fired away questions, he’ll be on top of them really quick.”
No one, though, knows the answer to the most pressing question: Will Seamonson be the defensive coordinator after Dec. 30?