While Maryland linebacker Dave Philistin wholeheartedly endorsed Al Seamonson as Maryland’s next defensive coordinator, he made it a point during our conversation yesterday to recount how difficult it is for him to see Chris Cosh leave for Kansas State.
“It’s crazy,” Philistin said. “Obviously as far as us being athletes on the team, we didn’t expect this to happen. Coach Cosh called me and he told me he was going to Kansas State and I asked him obviously ‘What job you got?’ He told me ‘assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator,’ and I told him I was happy for him.”
I think it’s important to re-iterate, given some of the things I’ve seen and heard over the last day, that Cosh did call at least one of his players. And while I didn’t talk to any of the other inside linebackers (Cosh’s position assignment), I suspect Philistin wasn’t the only one to receive a call or text from the outgoing defensive coordinator.
“I appreciate that,” Philistin said. “A lot of people just leave and don’t say anything. It’s cool that he did that.”
I’ve written before that the venom directed at Cosh seemed extreme and at times over-the-top. On the other hand, he was responsible for the defense. If fans didn’t like the on-field product, Cosh was the man who had to face some criticism.
But to clear up any misconceptions here, everything I’ve witnessed or heard second-hand from lots of other people —- from folks in the team house, in the community, etc. —- is that Cosh is a decent, stand-up guy. That includes my own experience over the last three years. So the personal criticism of Cosh in how he handled his departure in this case is almost certainly unwarranted.
I should point out there isn’t ecstasy among players. Philistin, in fact, was disappointed Cosh wouldn’t be sticking around through the Humanitarian Bowl in the way former special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski did at last year’s Emerald Bowl.
“The thing that struck me hard was that he wasn’t going to be at the bowl game,” Philistin said. “I remember last year, Coach Ray going up to the bowl he was going to be with us and after that he was going to go to South Carolina. This time, he was just gone.”