THE DIAMONDBACK | SPORTS | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2008
Terps adjusting to coaching losses With Cosh and Pearman gone, team now feeling effects in practice BY ERIC DETWEILER Senior staff writer
When Dave Philistin got the phone call, he thought it was a joke. The Terrapin linebacker was in New Hampshire visiting family when Chris Cosh called him Friday. In a low voice, Cosh told the senior he was leaving his post as the Terp football team’s defensive coordinator to become an assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State. With three weeks left in his college career, Philistin was without the man who had set up his defensive schemes for the past three seasons. “I didn’t know what to think,” Philistin said. “I had mixed emotions about this. You don’t want your defensive coordinator leaving before the bowl game.” Coupled with the departure of tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Danny Pearman, who is expected to join the staff at Clemson after just one season at Maryland, the Terps have had to figure out how to deal with the loss of two coordinators in the last week. Because neither will coach the Terps in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 30, Terp assistants have taken different roles during the last two days of practice. Former outside linebackers coach Al Seamonson has taken over as interim defensive coordinator. Brian White, a staff intern in his third year with the team, has taken over with the tight ends and will direct the special teams with head coach Ralph Friedgen. After an off-week, Friedgen said the team has adjusted well to the new alignment, which has forced some coaches to double up both coaching and recruiting duties. “What I’ve found is the kids are pretty resilient,” Friedgen said. “Sometimes, it has more of an effect on the [other] coaches than it does on the players. It didn’t seem to affect us yesterday. The kids just adapt to those things.” As Friedgen continues his search for full-time coordinators while recruiting and trying to prepare for the bowl game, the players have started to move on. Senior defensive tackle Jeremy Navarre said it was weird not hav-
Men’s team can’t swim past Navy Terps unable to complete sweep of in-state rivals BY JONAS SHAFFER Staff writer
day, is happy his long-time position coach will get the opportunity. “I always thought he’d be a good defensive coordinator,” Covington said. “He has a thorough knowledge of our whole defensive scheme and a lot of good ideas. I’m glad to see it.” As the Terps prepare to meet Nevada in Boise, Idaho, things may be different. But to linebacker Alex Wujciak, it’s nothing they haven’t seen before. “You’ve got to just keep pushing,” Wujciak said. “That could be the theme of our season. We’ve overcome obstacles like the tough losses. Now the coaches leaving is another obstacle.” TERP NOTE: Friedgen said wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is still considering whether to enter the 2009 NFL Draft. The redshirt junior will continue to gather information regarding his possible draft position before the Jan. 15, 2009, entry deadline. Heyward-Bey missed the final regular season game Nov. 29 at Boston College with a calf injury, but Friedgen hopes to have him ready to play in the bowl game-which would be a final chance to showcase his talents before deciding his pro future.
On the weekend of Nov. 21, the Navy women’s swimming and diving team traveled to College Park for the Terrapin Cup alone, but hopeful they would return with a title. Instead, they left empty-handed, finishing sixth out of 10 teams while the homestanding Terrapins captured the crown. Yesterday, it was the Maryland men’s swimming and diving team that paid the Naval Academy a visit. In return, the Midshipmen men got payback. In convincing fashion, they took the men’s-only meet against the Terps, 159-111. The Midshipmen’s win pushed them to a flawless 12-0 record on the year. The Terps fell to 4-4 and squandered an opportunity to lay claim to the state’s best swimming and diving program this year. Both men’s teams had beaten two of Maryland’s other premier swimming programs — UMBC and Johns Hopkins — and this matchup pitted two of the region’s hottest teams. But first-year coach Sean Schimmel’s squad just didn’t have enough Tuesday afternoon. The disparity in talent was evident right from the opening gun, when the Terps’ vaunted 200-meter medley relay team — good enough to finish in first and ahead of seven other teams in the Terrapin Cup — fell by more than two seconds. Things didn’t get much better. Navy went on to capture eight of the next nine events, and even Terp standouts such as Andrew Relihan and Mitch Challacombe were forced to play catch-up. The Terps weren’t shut out, though. Eric Cullen and Andy Dilz again dominated the breaststroke events, with Cullen taking first in the 100-meter variety (1:03.15) by nearly two seconds and placing second to Dilz (2:17.60) in the 200-meter event. Sean Stewart also led a sweep of the 100-meter fly with Roger Dent and Kyle Glennon. Schimmel and several Terp swimmers did not return phone calls. The meet marks the team’s final event of the 2008 calendar year, and they will kick off 2009 in the Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium for a Jan. 16-17 meet against Villanova, Pittsburgh and Penn State.
Defensive end Jared Harrell and the Terp defense lost coordinator Chris Cosh to Kansas State.
ing Cosh barking orders during the drills at the beginning of Monday’s practice. But the players eventually slipped into normalcy with one of their more physical practices in weeks. “It kind of sucks he left three weeks before the bowl game and all that,” Navarre said. “We would have liked him to finish out with us, but it’s just part of the business.” Seamonson said he plans on being the coordinator for the bowl game and acknowledged it will be an audition to get the interim tag removed. But the Wisconsin graduate, who has been with the Terps during Friedgen’s entire eight-year tenure, doesn’t plan to change a whole lot to a defense that ranks 60th in the nation in total defense. “Our package is established,” Seamonson said. “We’re talking about Game 13. It’s not like we’re going to re-invent the wheel between now and the bowl game.” The special teams, which will get its third coordinator in three years next season, is without Pearman, a Clemson alumnus whose family lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. When reached by phone last night, Pearman thanked Friedgen for the opportunity to spend a season with the Terps and called it a “mutual decision” for him to leave
before the bowl game. “It was a tough decision to leave Maryland,” Pearman said. “The timing is never good to leave a job, but it was an opportunity for me to go back home.” Punter Travis Baltz, who earned All-ACC honors this season under Pearman’s watch, said the unit knows what it needs to do to prepare for the bowl and doesn’t blame Pearman. “If my dad got offered a promotion, I wouldn’t tell him not to take it,” Baltz said. “And he gets to go home again.” Cosh’s departure is more complicated. The third-year coordinator was maligned during much of his tenure because of the defense’s inconsistency. During a game against Virginia Tech on Nov. 6, Friedgen got visibly upset at Cosh, who will share Wildcat defensive-coordinating duties with former Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, after a miscommunication led to a timeout late in the first half. Friedgen maintained his support for Cosh, but linebacker Trey Covington said he could see a “distancing” between Cosh and Friedgen. Cosh did not return phone calls to comment. Covington, who did not find out about Cosh’s departure until Mon-
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