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Ralph Friedgen and a remembrance of things past

 

Many years ago, on a warm summer afternoon, Ralph Friedgen and I took a road trip together.

He drove while I sat in the passenger seat of his Cadillac Escalade and peppered him with questions. He couldn't quite figure out how to work his GPS, but it didn't much matter. He was confident he knew the way. I was 25 years old, and still trying to find my footing as a journalist. I'd been the Maryland football beat writer for a year, but we'd never spent significant time together away from the field.

That's not unusual for newspaper reporters and the people they cover, especially in this era. We try our best to paint a picture of their personality, show you their quirks and illustrate their desires, but so often, the material we gather has to come from regimented, pre-scheduled interview sessions, an authentic moment is hard to come by.

I had been eager to write a story for several months about Friedgen and his father, a legendary high school football coach in Harrison, N.Y., who died of a heart attack years before his son became Maryland's head coach. Friedgen's father, also named Ralph, was a big man just like his son would turn out to be. So big, in fact, that his nickname was The Bear. He had the temperament of one, too. He once smashed a wooden clipboard over the helmet of one of his players in anger. 

But listening to stories, I knew The Bear was cold and stern in ways his son was not, and hearing tidbits about their relationship brought to mind countless scenes from my favorite Pat Conroy novels. Friedgen often told the story of the day he called his father to explain that he was quitting the football team at Maryland, and that he was going to transfer. His father responded that Ralph could do whatever he wanted, but he was changing the locks, because quitters were not welcome in his home. In a rage, the younger Friedgen tore the phone off the wall.

I knew the specter of The Bear hung over Friedgen's head, long after his father had passed away, and that it was something that motivated him all the time, even if he couldn't quite put it into words.

When I inquired about doing a lengthy interview with him, Freidgen suggested I join him on drive to Lancaster, Pa., where he had agreed to speak at a high school football banquet. Assistant coach James Franklin had convinced him it was an opportunity to solidify Maryland's recruiting progress in the area, and while the art of sucking up to fuzzy-cheeked high school all-stars did not come naturally, he understood it was a job requirement.

"I'm not going to call kids and be like 'Yo dawg. Are you my dawg?' " Friedgen said, as I tried not to laugh. "But I work pretty hard at it."

On the drive from College Park to Pennsylvania, on a day with very little traffic, we each talked about our fathers, as well as our own disappointing college football careers. Football, at least for me, is often a story about fathers and sons. In 1978, my father held me in his arms as he watched the Dallas Cowboys defeat his beloved Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII. The Cowboys, that day, were led by Maryland defensive tackle Randy White. I was three weeks old. My paternalistic indoctrination to the game came early.

But even when fathers are absent, football coaches often end up filling the role of father figure in the lives of many young men. A good high school football coach who keeps his kids focused on going to college is worth what it costs to pay the salaries of 10 extra police officers in a place like West Baltimore. I truly believe that. I'm not a fan of screamers, but I do believe toughness and respect are two essential character traits you can be taught if you're not born with either.

Friedgen believed much of that as well, which gave us a lot to talk about as we headed north. When his speech was over, he invited me to the hotel bar to have a drink, where our conversation continued. He ordered a double scotch on the rocks, something I considered very much a man's drink. I ordered a Budweiser, because I was still a kid, uncertain about everything, including what drink to order. He sipped his scotch while I asked him questions, and I scraped away the red and white label on the beer bottle with my thumbnail as I listened to his answers. 

He had big plans for Maryland -- stadium expansion, luxury boxes, better recruits, an active booster club. The program had essentially been irrelevant prior to his arrival, but he was slowly changing the culture of football in College Park. When I told him my girlfriend, a Maryland alum who is now my wife, had never been to a Terps football game, he looked at me incredulously.

"Kevin," he said. "We're going to have to change that."

He told me another story about a time he felt basketball coach Gary Williams tried to embarrass him in a talk he gave in front of some prominent boosters. One of Friedgen's graduate assistants had recently been arrested for DWI, and Friedgen, even though he liked the coach, decided he had no choice but to fire him. When Williams made it a point to mention to boosters than none of his staff had been in trouble, Friedgen read it as a direct shot at him. Later, Friedgen said he and Williams had a drink together, and the football coach leaned in and told the basketball coach if he ever did something like that again, they'd have to go out back and settle it like men. Williams simply nodded. As far as I know, they got along fine after that.

The point of the story seemed obvious. Friedgen was not going to be walked on by anyone.

Eventually, he brought up the subject of his weight, and what a burden -- physical and emotional -- it had been to hear it was the reason it took him so long to get a head coaching job. He told me his friends had been encouraging him to get gastric bypass surgery, but he was reluctant. He feared he might die during the operation, right on the table. He told me the story of his father's death, and the things he knew his dad had missed. If that happened in an operating room somewhere, he would feel cheated at having missed so much.

"If it's my time," he said. "Then it's my time."

We sat there in silence, neither of us certain what to say next.

We drove back to College Park the next morning, and eventually I wrote one of the longest stories I've ever written for The Sun. It was a story about Friedgen and his dad, and about football, but also about the things fathers wish they could say to their sons, but often never can. It was the kind of story I envisioned crafting when I decided I wanted to be a writer. It made me feel a little less like a kid and a little more like a man.

Friedgen never quite knew what to say about the story. He didn't hate it, but he couldn't put much else into words. I eventually wondered if it was somewhat unsettling to see his life laid bare like that on the pages of the newspaper. But his wife, Gloria, had it framed and hung in his office. She assured me that one day, he'd see it for what it was.

Friedgen and I had our squabbles down the road. He was once furious with me when I asked him a prickly (and in retrospect, somewhat unfair) question in a press conference about the program's decline after a late-season loss to North Carolina State, which kept the Terps from going to a bowl game for the second straight year. But he didn't hold a grudge. He seemed to understand that, like one of his young players, I too was learning on the job. It's been quite awhile since we've spoken, but I think of him every time I have to ask John Harbaugh a difficult question. Coaches are people, too, and there is a way to ask honest, but respectful questions.

Over time, the ground shifted beneath Friedgen's feet as well as mine. Maryland struggled to sustain its initial success after three straight 10-win seasons, and newspapers began losing money and cutting space. It was hard to justify running 100-inch stories about a football coach and his complicated relationship with his father. Friedgen needed to recruit better, and I needed to learn how to express myself in 140 words, not inches. Past success was not as important as the ability to swallow your pride and adapt.

Even though Friedgen dragged Maryland football out of the dark ages and into the modern era, I understand why the university is forcing him out. College sports isn't about shaping the lives of young men and acting as a surrogate father for many of them. Those notions are probably as naive as my romantic attachment to long newspapers stories. College sports are about generating revenue and excitement for the school, first and last. Whatever happens in between is just icing. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. You can't look at Maryland's declining season ticket sales and pretend it doesn't matter. You can't pretend a 2-10 season doesn't matter, just like I can't pretend circulation declines don't matter to newspapers. The reality is right there, in cold, unforgiving numbers.

Maybe Maryland fans have forgotten how irrelevant they were during the Mark Duffner and Ron Vanderlinden era, and now the prospect of Mike Leach and his swashbuckling ways has them dreaming of bigger things than going 8-4 and ending up in the Military Bowl. It might be a dance with an unfamiliar devil, but it's one a lot of Maryland fans can't seem to resist. That's understandable, I suppose. People want success, not complacency. Maybe Friedgen took the Terps as far as he could take them, and his reluctance to call up kids and tell them "you're my dawg!" is proof that a proud man can only adapt so much to the changing world around him. He could be prickly with boosters, administrators and underlings, which I suspect gave him few allies in the end. He did not suffer fools gladly.

I'm glad, however, that he's refusing to retire quietly. I want him to get every cent Maryland still owes him, even though that's probably more money than I'll make in a lifetime. If they no longer want him, they'll have to pay to change the locks on his office, and the price is $2 million. Friedgen's father did not raise his only son to be a quitter.

I am older now, with a kid of my own, and I'm often uncertain of what the future will bring. I still prefer beer, but I always keep scotch in the house. It's a man's drink, after all. Tonight I will pour myself a double on the rocks in honor of Ralph Friedgen, and wish him well as he navigates the open road ahead.

 

 

Comments

Nicely done. I really enjoyed this piece. You're one of the best true writers at the Sun.

Kevin, excellent write up on the Fridge and I remember that article from years ago. You're a credit to your profession.

Good article. I never thought about how much I'd miss seeing the Fridge on the sidelines. Good luck Ralph.

Wow, what a poignant, beautifully written piece! I still think he got a bum deal though, and I'm glad he is taking them to the bank.

Kevin, this is simply fantastic. Thank you for always producing such thoughtful, engaging pieces. You are a tremendous asset to The Sun.

Refreshing... Truly a nice read as compared to some of your colleagues stuff. Thanks!!

A nice tribute to a good man.

Beautifully written piece. I was a season ticket holder for 17 years and lived through one or 2 years of Joe Krivak, Mark Duffner, Ron Vanderlinden and 8 seasons of Friedgen. He is a good man and a good coach and certainly didn't deserve this but college athletics is all about making money and exciting the fan base. If your a season ticket holder, you should know this as it was plainly obvious all the time. Friedgen was not great at those things because is an old-school football coach. I gave up my season tickets 2 years ago because I was convinced he couldn't lead us to greatness. I knew they wouldn't replace him for a few years because of his extension and I was tired of waiting (I know, selfish). That doesn't mean that I do not recognize what he did for the football program. He was the perfect hire when we hired him. He just isn't the right man now. It's sad in some respects because I know how much he cares about MD football. This is the right decision though and I am confident that Anderson will get a coach who has the ability to lead MD football to a higher level. I stress capable because nothing is guaranteed. I would urge all MD fans to either get tickets to the Military Bowl or at least watch his final game. If you're a true fan, it's the least you can do to support a man that did many great things for the team and university.

Finally some journalism with this fish wrap. Kudos, Kevin. The Fridge deserved a piece like this one. Now will you please show Preston how to write a worthwhile article.

Fitting tribute

I remember how proud I was that my alma mater had 2 alums as HC. Although I understand the move, I will miss Coach Friedgen, a true coach and Terp. Well Done Kevin, you are a great journalist.

Nice piece, Kevin. Thanks.

Thanks for sharing, Kevin. What a great piece. Thank goodness for blogs and their limitless inches.

Your piece says it all. It's too bad there no longer is a place in college football for a coach like Ralph Friedgen nor a place in newspapers for writers like Kevin Van Valkenburg. Conroy couldn't have done better.

As a Maryland alum, Terrapin Club member (i.e. donor), football and basketball season ticket holder, and a 35-year old lifelong Terps fan, this piece almost made me cry. What a great piece of writing!

I completely understand what the AD is doing from a business prospective, but Ralph got screwed! He should absolutely get everything he deserves.

Ralph, you were a credit to the University of Maryland and I thank you for a great ride!

A Reilly-esque tribute. It brings holiday cheer to know that beautiful writing still exists in my hometown.

Unlike many who have written here, I am a season ticket holder, Terrapin Club member, Alumni Association member, and a former and current student, and I do not agree with or understand Fridge's firing. I think Ralph has taken lemons and made lemonade in most years. His two 5-6 seasons were still better than his predecessors. And when he finally gets a strong quarterback who he can mold (Turner had talent, but was not coachable), he gets canned. The conspiracy theorist in me believes Friedgen got it now because Anderson can reasonably predict a better season next year and the Terps really competing for an ACC title. Imagine him trying to can Ralph after an Orange Bowl victory. This was calculated and ridiculously unfair.

That said, this was a great piece, and I hope the coach appreciates it. He will be missed. I hope everyone who calls himself a Terrapins fan shows at the Military Bowl to send Ralph off and that everyone stays for him to lead the Terps in the Victory Song.

Thanks,Kevin.Merry Christmas.Finally,a decent story to take our minds off the business of the decision.I don't touch that scotch stuff,myself,but I will definitely have a double brandy in Ralph's honor tonight.Hope you follow the Ravens all the way to Dallas this year!

"It's been quite awhile since we've spoken, but I think if him every time I have to ask John Harbaugh a difficult question."

Did you mean "about" and not "if"?

Sometimes in life you got to take a chance and roll the dice in order to improve. Unfortunately often the grass appears greener on the other side but it really isn't.

Personally I just don't see Maryland as a perennial power in football.

Like many things now, college football is strictly about money anything else is secondary which is why many of these "disgraced" coaches get too many lives such as Bruce Pearl.

Great article. Ralph did the University and its fans proud. I wish we had supported the program better so this didn' have to happen.

Best thing written in the Sun in a long time Kevin...It's nice to read something in sports with a little substance. So long my friend and God's speed Ralph

Great piece, very well laid out about the truths and expectations of being a professional, the only thing that matters is the bottom line.

Coach Friedgen brought some dignity and respect to his alma mater..You can't fault anybody for that...somebody once told me there is more to being a football coach in today's world...Coach you did it your way...all the best to you..

Very nice article !!

Thanks for a wonderful article, Kevin; it was very human.

In retrospect, Ralph was the right coach for the right time when he was hired. He made Maryland football relevant again when most of us didn't care. Overall, he had a very good run as coach.

He is a decent man. We saw that because he was unafraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. It's unfortunate the way things unraveled, and I believe Kevin Anderson wanted to avoid that.

However, he is probably not the right coach to take the program where the administration and fans want it to go. Now the heat is on Anderson to find that man.

Nice work KVV!

Kevin, really touching article. Great writing, great story, great thoughts. This Terp is definitely sad of the way it's happened, but also understanding the way college sports are, for better or worse.

Cheers to Ralph!

A piece of art..you are a credit to your profession. I will have my double on the rocks tonight for good ole Ralph!

great article. your the best sportswriter this paper has and your 5 things piece after ravens game is usually spot on. It's nice to see a sportswriter actually use creativity and good stories to get people to read their work rather than just inflamatory headlines with the same gibberish each week.

what our new AD doesn't realize is that loyalty is priceless.

where The Fridge would never sell out Maryland and take a job with a school that has a better booster and recruiting base, Leach will bail on Maryland the moment he gets an offer from a program in one of the top football conferences.

Really well done, Kevin - very touching. I hope folks are able to show up and express their appreciation for Coach Friegen at the Military Bowl.

Sure, the athletic department made a "sound business decision" in letting him go...and yes, I realize that this is what college athletics has become. With that said, the football program will struggle to fill the void left by a good man.

Excellent!

Thanks so much.

Great article Kevin, very well-written. Like you, I understand the decision, but I believe that this whole thing could have been handled with greater professionalism and respect for what Ralph has accomplished for Maryland. Merry Christmas, Kevin. God bless you, Ralph, and many thanks.

I am also a Maryland alum, and once, long ago I tried walking on at Maryland (during the Jerry Claiborne era).

Ralph Friedgen is a coach I for whom I would have been proud and honored to play under. He deserved much better from the University. Sometimes it is much better to mold men than to put fannies in the seats. Anderson better pick the right man for NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS after this fiasco.

Bravo Kevin!

A fine piece about a good man. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

I was not happy with the loss to Miami. But Maryland was terrible between Ross and Ralph. Issues with attendance will always be with UMD because this area is NFL crazy. I dumped my season tickets about 4 years ago because have the first half of each season was against unworthy teams.
Debbie Yow led the department to where it is today.

Fantastic aricle, what a great read! Going to miss Ralph, he's always been such a classy coach and fine example for the young men on his teams.

Great great comments, you could teach Mike Preston a few things or 2. You don't have to be nasty to be a columinist. Excellent piece.

Great article Kevin. You hit it right on the head.
Too bad our society has gotten to the point where it's of no importance of what you have done in the past. It's what are you doing for me right now.
Anderson better come through or his time at Maryland will much shorter then Ralph's.

Here's to you Ralph

Another fabulous article from a fabulous writer--
Agree with all you said--Good Luck, Ralph.

one of the best articles I've read in years.

Gary, you also don't have to be nasty to respond to columnists' posts, but more often than not, nastiness is what is seen on here...

Great article.........

Kevin......A drive into the lair of Nittany Lion nutsos in 2004 allowed you the opportunity to understand so much about the man. (I lived in Lancaster County so I know of what I speak.) How fortunate for all of us.

Thanks for your thoughts about a good coach and a better man. As long as society can recognize the qualities of men like Coach Friedgen, even they don't always "win", we can still have hope. And the idea of selling out RFK for his last game is fantastic.

Kevin this article stunk!

JUST KIDDING :). Sorry but SOMEONE had to make an attempt at being the devil's advocate :).

Great piece Kevin I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Kevin - I can assure you that you will not have that Scotch alone! In honor of Coach Fridge - and your article - I and many Marylanders will be partaking tonight!
Raise them high!
Well done Ralph
Well done Kevin V. V.

Ralph should be very proud of what he has accomplished at Maryland. I hope he realizes that the majority of Terp nation is thankful for what he accomplished here. Whether or not it was the right time for him to leave is debatable, but he left the state of the program miles ahead of where it was when he inherited it. He ran a clean program and you could tell he genuinely cared for the well being of his players.

Thank you Ralph and thank you Kevin for one of the best articles I have ever read in the Baltimore Sun.

My son is a baseball player who graduated from MD so I became a big Terp fan even though I graduated Penn State and remembering Dick Shiner getting his lunch handed to him by the Lions - I have never read a better eulogy in my life - will be forwarding it to Chris to appreciate

Outstanding work KVV!!
I am sorry Coach. Thank you for all you've done.

kevin,
as vince lombardi should have said "winning isn't everything money is the thing". ralph got a bume deal maybe anderson will get the same treatment when his time arrives. it' all about business and MONEY.
barry

Outstanding piece about Ralph Friedgen. You captured the true essence of the man as a coach and the reason for his dismissal as a business decision. You did touch upon his weight issues as preventing him from getting a head coaching job and I believe it might have been a factor in termination. Realistically, I think his appearance hurt the school's recruiting as image is everything.

Wow! Now that's a story!

BTW, I found this story via a link in Dan Steinberg's piece in another news outlet.


Kevin, great article on
Ralph. Been away from Maryland
for awhile, but still follow
the Terps basketball and
football...

Ralph brought a program back
to the best it could be.

Maryland is not Penn State
or Ohio State and their alumni
should be happy they had
such a good coach over the
years..

To release Ralph not on his
own terms shows a lack
of class from the University
of Maryland.....

Kevin,

Your wife needs to frame this article much like Fridge's wife did the previous one you wrote. Far and away the single best sports piece I have seen written by a Sun employee in over a decade.

KVV,

This piece got to me....no other way to put it. How naive indeed.....I wish Ralph all the best. I have tears in my eyes (I don't freaking believe this)........

Excellent prose, man.......truly excellent. You're a credit to your profession. All the best to YOU as well, and compliments of the season to you and your family.

Cheers,

-Ade

First of all, great piece Kevin. It was a breath of fresh air compared to most of the "journalism" out there today.

As a Georgia Tech alum, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Fridge. He is indeed a good man and a GREAT offensive mind. The additional burdens of head coaching didn't seem to suit him as well as the X's and O's, and that's too bad. I know many of the Yellow Jacket faithful were pulling for him.

That being said, sometimes its just time for a change to breathe some life into a program. Ralph will land on his feet if he still wants to coach - he's got too much to offer - and MD will hopefully be re-energized by a new staff.

Best of luck to coach and the Terps!

Nice Job...Ralph deserved better. Two of the college coaches I most respect as father figure, who ran clean programs, graduated student/athletes and will always be winners are Ralph Friedgen and Bobby Ross and Maryland's new novice AD FIRED them both You know what kind of tenure I hope he has.......

Covering Ralph for the past ten years has been a real privilege. He is the type of person you would want to coach your son and help him become a man. Unfortunately, through press conferences and media days you could tell he wasn't the charismatic salesman that was going to put Maryland into a perennial top ten program. Best of luck to him in his future, he deserved a better ending. It was nice of you to share your story.

Great column. The Sun should give you the 100 inches of space back!

Very nice piece....and Ralph was deservedly well-liked...but you have to win...after winning with his predecessors players his first few years, Ralph was a .500 coach in the ACC, with no ACC titles or even in the ACC championship game....and never came close to dominating a fairly weak football conference...his 8-4 this year was done agasint a very weak schedule.....

Please,Terp fans,Kevin's story should'nt be a eulogy of the man; it's a rare insight from a young friend and a colossal tribute to the essence of who he is.Many thanks,young writer,for lifting your memories of the authentic Ralph Freidgen to the reading public,whether you're a sports fan or not.Join him at the Military Bowl and we will send him off the way he will want to-hopefully with a victory,fair and square.

I thouroughly enjoyed this piece, Kevin. Articles like this are hard to find, and I wish that Prisbell down at WaPo would learn to write half as well as you someday.

Fridge needs more respect than what he is getting right now. I understand if the University wanted to go a different route or felt that Fridge took them as far as he could. But Kevin Andersen needs to learn basic PR skills. The way he has publicly handled this whole affair was very clumsy. I know the time to get Leach is right now, but this needed to be done privately AFTER the Military Bowl, not before. This team does not need another distraction beofre the game. Besides, Fridge deserved better. It's a shame and disgrace to treat the ACC COY and the man who brought MD football from the doldrums as a cheap employee. Andersen better cough up the entire $2 mil because the man is worth every penny.

I had the privledge of going to Harrison High School with Ralph and had the privledge of knowing his Dad. I remember to this day walking down the halls of Harrison High, passing Coach Fridgen hoping I wouldn't get into trouble!! I was thrilled when my high school friend, Ralph came to Maryland-the first time I saw him we gave each other a huge hug! My son, who had just graduated from Maryland, was in awe that I truly did know the new coach and called his sister-also a graduate of Marylanf to tell her!! Under Ralph, Maryland football grew. I think that how the University handled Ralph's departure was terrible. A poor example for the students and SO unfair to the players facing the Military Bowl next week!
I hope that Ralph goes on to bigger and better things-as a good coach & a fine human being he deserves that!

Lovely piece, man. Just lovely in its balance of poignancy and silence.

Kevin, a great article for a man who is a dying breed. Ralph has been a father figure and a mentor to young men who never had either. Anderson's decision to replace a teacher with a pirate is a perfect metaphor for the deterioration of college football.

Here's to a man who was about more than just football, a man and a coach that took pride in taking young men and mentoring them into productive representatives of the University and their community!!! You will be missed...

Great piece of writing.

A fantastic piece of writing. Ralph was a true teacher. He cared about his players as people. They didn't understand that at age 20, but they loved him and thanked him at age 40.

Kevin: Excellent job, You touched several chords- coming of age, realizing that things change, and that people can remain honorable, despite circumstances beyond their control. Their is something inherent in Coach Friedgen that is hard to verbalize, but you were able to do it seemingly effortlessly. Cheers!

"College sports isn't about shaping the lives of young men and acting as a surrogate father for many of them"
Really? I think that is the real premise that college sports was built on.

And article's like this is what journalism is about. Nicely done.

Found this excellent piece via the DC Sport Blog, kudos for Dan Steinberg for referring to this and adding the link. A truly wonderful piece of journalism. Even as a non-ACC, non Maryland alum, just a college football fan from the deep South, I was moved by this tribute.

What kind of coward do you have to be to make this decision for the "good of Maryland football"? Here's hoping Anderson gets a knife in the back just like he did to Fridge. What goes around comes around and I hope it is with a sharp twist.

Wonderful piece, Kevin.( Has your lovely wife been to a Terp Football game Yet? LOL)
Have a Very Merry Christmas and enjoy each and every one. It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Ralph took over and brought Maryland Football back to something resembling the Bobby Ross Era. Times, they do fly by!

Nice article on Ralph He really got screwed by Anderson.They really hit bottom when they hire a AD like Anderson and let him fire a great person like Ralph REMEMBER THE BEAR

great article! I wish more people felt this way. my son is a current terp player and there is so much uncertainty with this change. it's scary. I hope this AD knows what he's done to these kids and makes good decisions not just based on money. Ralph will be missed.

GREAT piece. Well written, engaging and sympathetic. A fine tribute to a fine man.

Very fine column and tribute to Friedgen. This is the kind of information newspapers should be providing to readers instead of forcing experienced, insightful and knowledgeable reporters to swallow their pride and pump out pablum in 140-character burps.

As a GT fan, Coach Friedgen was a primary reason for our 1990 NC under Ross and our run under Oleary. His offenses were AMAZING (He was running some spread option Paul Johnson stuff one play and four wides west coast the next, ALL EXECUTED PERFECTLY.)

The sad part of this for Maryland fans, what goes around comes around, and a 'richer' program will pluck Leach is a few years and UM will be right back where they started. (GT is in a similar situation in past decades with Curry leaving for Bama, Ross leaving for the NFL and Oleary leaving for ND so this is not a flame.) Hopefully Ralph still wants to coach and gets a great OC job. I just hope its not in the ACC because with a decent QB his offenses are AMAZING!!

If the University of Maryland is too good for you, Ralph, then its too good for me as well. The excitement of the Ralph Friedgen era made me become a season ticket holder, and the disappointment of the Kevin Anderson era has made me want to tear up my renewal application when it comes in the mail. It's been fun Ralph. Thanks for the good times in Section 4

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