Mike Locksley named Big Ten’s top coach in midseason honor

Maryland may be coming off their first loss of the 2023 season, but head coach Mike Locksley was honored on Wednesday after being named the Big Ten’s top coach in the AP’s midseason conference awards.

Locksley has steadily improved his program’s recruiting over his five seasons, and his team is on track for a third straight winning season. That hasn’t happened at Maryland since 2001-03.

The Terps opened 5-0, beating each opponent by at least 18 points, and they were ahead 17-10 in the third quarter at No. 3 Ohio State last week before giving up 27 straight points. A win over Illinois at home Saturday would make the Terps bowl eligible at the earliest point in a season since 2001.

In addition to a chance of securing bowl eligibility, Maryland will have a chance to set multiple feats as head coach Mike Locksley steadily builds on the program’s accolades and success each season. Now in year five as head coach, Locksley’s latest accolade is a testament to the steady success fans have enjoyed with a roster that the staff has rebuilt and molded.

“If anybody took a poll to say you get to be 5-1 at the midpoint of the season, you get to take it or leave it, I’d say that a lot of us would take it,” Locksley said on Tuesday.

With Illinois headed to College Park this weekend, Maryland will have a chance to secure bowl eligibility for the third consecutive season. They’ll look to do so with a chance to start 5-0 at home for the first time since 2008 and 3-1 in Big Ten play for the first time ever.

While Maryland is coming off a loss against its first ranked opponent, they’ll get two more chances to pass the test back in College Park.

“This is where I probably wouldn’t be as fat as I am, probably have more hair if I didn’t deal with the stressors that go with like 18- to 22-year-olds controlling your livelihood. But I love these kids, man. I’m gonna go to battle with them every single day. They don’t do it on purpose and I’ll continue to coach and I’ll continue to try to be positive. I’ll continue to probably nitpick. I’ll be all over the place like I am for this interview right now.”

Maryland and Illinois are set for a 3:30 PM kickoff on Saturday.

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