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CFB notebook: Locksley named head coach at Maryland

Sports Xchange
06 Dec 2018, 10:45 GMT+10

Maryland named Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as head football coach, the school announced.

The announcement came on the heels of Locksley being named the Broyles Award winner Tuesday as the top assistant coach in college football.

"I am thrilled to be returning home and to have the opportunity to lead the Maryland Football program," Locksley said in a statement. "This has always been a special place for me and my family, and I am honored to take on this role at the state's flagship institution. Our goal is to create an atmosphere and environment focused on the total development of our student-athletes. Our focus will always be to help them become more successful in all areas of their life through their association with our program."

Locksley has had two separate stints with the Terrapins, overseeing the running backs from 1997-2002 and serving as the offensive coordinator from 2012-2015. He also was the team's interim head coach for the last six games of the 2015 season after Randy Edsall was fired.

The 48-year-old Locksley has helped the Crimson Tide average a nation second-best 47.9 points per game. The team has set school records this season for points scored (623), total offense (6,859 yards), offensive touchdowns (77) and passing yards (4,231).

Locksley was in his second season as a full-time assistant on Nick Saban's staff and his first as Alabama's offensive coordinator.

"As we narrowed the search for the individual best suited to lead our program, Michael not only stood out for his talent as a coach, but most importantly for the role he has played as a mentor to student-athletes throughout his career and his deep commitment to helping them grow into leaders on and off the field," Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said.

"On the field, Michael orchestrated one of the country's most prolific offenses at the University of Alabama and has long been regarded for his recruiting prowess. Today, he was recognized as the nation's top assistant coach in the country, and I'm excited for him to be leading our program."

Matt Canada, who served as the Terrapins' interim head coach this past season, and Michigan quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton were the other finalists to interview for the job, ESPN reported.

--Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant will try his luck at Missouri.

Bryant announced his decision Tuesday night via Twitter, posting a video of game highlights and workouts as well as reading the poem "The Test of a Man."

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bryant will have a chance to play quickly with four-year starter Drew Lock departing after this season. Bryant has one year of eligibility remaining and will not have to sit out a season because he is a graduate transfer.

The 22-year-old Bryant announced plans to transfer from Clemson after coach Dabo Swinney chose freshman Trevor Lawrence as the team's starting quarterback late in September. After announcing his intent to transfer, Bryant visited several schools -- including North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Auburn before choosing Missouri.

Bryant made 18 consecutive starts for Clemson, posting a 16-2 record and guiding the school to the College Football Playoffs last year. In four games this season, Bryant completed 36 of 54 passes for 461 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Bryant finished the 2017 season with 2,802 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 14 games.

--Following more than a week of speculation, USC head coach Clay Helton on Wednesday officially announced the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury as the Trojans' offensive coordinator. Kingsbury, who was fired as head coach at Texas Tech recently, also will be the quarterbacks coach at USC.

"We are very excited to welcome Kliff to the Trojan Family," Helton said. "He is a brilliant offensive mind and is on the cutting edge of the game today. His offenses have consistently been at the top of the college football statistical rankings. With the talent on our team, along with his leadership and coaching, I truly believe that we can take our offense to new heights."

The 39-year-old Kingsbury was head coach at Texas Tech for the last seven seasons after serving as offensive coordinator at Texas AM in 2012 and at Houston in 2010-11.

Kingsbury will replace Tee Martin, one of four assistant coaches who have left the USC program since the end of the regular season. Helton stripped Martin of his play-calling duties earlier in the season. The Trojans ranked 11th in the Pacific 12 Conference and tied for 84th nationally at 383 yards per game this season, in addition to being 10th in the Pac-12 and 92nd in the nation in scoring offense at 26.1 points per game.

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