Maryland went a little against the grain when they hire Massachusetts head coach Don Brown as the new defensive coordinator last week. Massachusetts plays in what was formerly known as Division I-AA, I'm not even going to use the ridiculous NCAA name that division has currently.
Hiring coaches to a higher level of competition is always a risk so in a sense this is a roll of the dice, but I think it is a good move. The last great defensive coordinator that Maryland had in the Friedgen era was Gary Blackney who was also a former head coach. Brown did a pretty damn good job at UMass coaching them to a 43-19 record over five years and more importantly guiding a defense that finished in the top 20 in defense for three years in a row until this past season. He also may hold a record for serving as defensive coordinator for three different Ivy league programs (Dartmouth, Yale, Brown). The Colonial League is no slouch in football as teams like Delaware, Villanova, and Hofstra have all sent players to the NFL recently.
Friedgen claims that Brown will coach a hard nosed and aggressive style which should satisfy most of the fans gripes about the Chris Cosh lead defenses. Brown may not have any experience at a BCS level program but compared to Cosh's resume when he was hired at Maryland he looks like William the Conqueror.
It appears that Al Seamonson will stay on the staff and coach the linebackers while Brown will also handle the cornerbacks. Kevin Lempa, who was in the Ivy League as an assistant at the same time as Brown, will coach the safeties as he did last season.
It will be interesting to see what sorts of changes will be made to Maryland's defensive schemes come the Spring Game. Hopefully this will also serve to shore up some of Maryland's defensive recruits, like corner Travis Hawkins, who may have been looking elsewhere with the defensive job up in the air.