- The Washington Times - Friday, August 20, 2004


Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen received a $2million overall raise yesterday, with university officials including a $1million buyout clause intended to deter other college offers.

The remaining eight years of Friedgen’s 10-year deal were increased from $1.25million to $1.5million annually. There also are incentive clauses based on academic and team performances.

Friedgen is now the ACC’s third-highest paid football coach, trailing only Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Miami’s Larry Coker. The Terrapins’ recent apparel deal funded the increase, which originally was agreed upon Jan.3. It was the second contract make-over since Friedgen’s arrival in 2001.

“This is where I wanted to end my career anyway,” Friedgen said. “Am I the richest guy in college football? No, but I’ll be one of the higher-paid guys in the ACC.”

The university included the exit clause because several NFL teams have included Friedgen on their prospective coaching lists over the past three years. Tampa Bay even interviewed Friedgen at his Silver Spring home in 2002. Friedgen said four NFL teams contacted him and one college program offered him a job in the last two years.

Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow felt a buyout clause was needed to fend off college suitors, though she conceded it wouldn’t stop NFL teams, which now pay some coaches more than $5million.

“The security element is very important not just to those of us at the institution but our fans and recruits,” Yow said. “It’s a significant deterrent to any college program. There would be pro entities that could clearly pay the $1million, but I don’t know if we would have ever gotten to a [level] that would have eliminated all professional entities.”

The Terps are 31-8 under Friedgen, the best first three seasons ever for an ACC coach. The team also has graduated 58 of 66 players, with another 19 expected to get their diplomas in the spring.

“The goal is to be able to graduate athletes and win,” Yow said. “What you generally find is that a place can do one or the other but not both at the same time.”

Rick Snider

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