Given that his professional fate might be tied to a rather large degree to Maryland's new campus president, it's not a surprise Ralph Friedgen had a few insights on the hire his alma mater made yesterday.
Wallace D. Loh will take over Nov. 1. He succeeds C.D. Mote Jr.
Loh spent the last two years as the provost at Iowa. Maryland is the 65-year-old's first job as a president.
'I'm happy he comes from a school that has a good football tradition," Friedgen said. "I know [Iowa football coach] Kirk Ferentz pretty good. I'll have to give him a call and see what he thinks. It's obvious he's had experience with big-time athletics, and that's a positive from my standpoint. Just reading his resume, he's obviously a academician."
Mote announced in February he would retire Aug. 31, creating an unusual bit of instability. Things became more uncertain in the athletic department four months later when AD Debbie Yow left for N.C. State. Thus, one of Loh's first major moves will be tabbing Yow's replacement --- a person whose first significant choice might be deciding whether Friedgen returns for the final year of his contract.
For now, though, Maryland regained a little of the stability it lost in the last six months.
"I was a little surprised they named someone so quickly," Friedgen said. "I thought it was going to be at the end of August, so they must have really liked this guy if they went ahead and made this decision. I trust the selection committee did a good job. We really need a strong leader here to make this place something special."