Friedgen Aims to Duck Distraction; Status Remains Biggest Topic for Terrapins
Byline: Patrick Stevens, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen reiterated Tuesday that his attention remains fixed on the Terrapins' season finale Saturday against Boston College despite speculation about his future.
While there are unresolved questions about whether Friedgen returns for a 10th season, he still has a game to go this year - and the cacophony of outside noise can hardly help in such a situation.
It does become a distraction, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. There's no doubt about it. I think Ralph has been [coaching] long enough just like I have that you know you have to go on. You have to ignore that as far as your preparation and your coaching is concerned, but it is a distraction.
As he did Sunday, Friedgen declined to discuss his status Tuesday. The Terps (2-9, 1-6 ACC) would clinch the first 10-loss season in school history with a loss to the Eagles (7-4, 4-3).
Friedgen has two years remaining on his contract, and multiple sources confirmed the financial backing to buy out the $4 million he is owed is secure. Athletic director Debbie Yow repeatedly has said Friedgen, like all coaches in her department, will be evaluated at the conclusion of the season.
This year is easily the worst under Friedgen, who led Maryland to six bowl games in eight seasons before the current tailspin. Friedgen often has said he sees his team getting better, a mantra he reiterated Tuesday.
We took our lumps this year, he said during what was at times an emotional news conference. We won't be taking our lumps next year.
It's just a matter of getting there, and at the least that means getting through this weekend.
I think it is harder to block stuff out, especially with all the talk going on in the media, linebacker Alex Wujciak said. I think our coaches are keeping us pretty levelheaded, and Coach Friedgen, he keeps telling us he knew what he was getting into when he took this job and let him deal with those situations.
Still, there are countless variables a coach must deal with when there are job security questions, many not even dealing with himself. It was a situation Duke coach David Cutcliffe lived out at Mississippi in 2004, when he was dismissed after a 4-7 season following five straight winning years. …