By Devin Bartolotta

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The University of Maryland has a new head football coach, announcing the hiring of University of Alabama Assistant Coach Michael Locksley Tuesday night.

Students on campus are weighing in on the fresh face, eager to see the team start anew following the announcement of the newly-minted top assistant coach in the county.

“I’m really happy,” said Jordan Gold, a junior. “I think it was the best hire they could have made.

Locksley inherits a team in desperate need of some good PR.

“I think it’ll definitely be something positive coming back to the program,” said freshman, Riley Dannehower.

Former head coach, DJ Durkin was fired in October, five months after 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapse of heatstroke at practice and died.

The program swirled in controversy all summer after allegations of a “toxic” culture within the program came to light.

“Our goal is to create an atmosphere and environment focused on the total development of our student-athletes,” said Locksley in a press release from the university.

“If coach Locksley can recruit how we think he can,” said Gold. “I think there’s nothing stopping this program from becoming one of the elite programs in the big ten.”

The campus of almost 40,000 is watching closely.

“I think it’s going to be really exciting having a familiar face come back to campus,” said freshman, Claire Priestly.

Locksley has deep roots in this area. He’s from DC, played football at Towson and coached with the Terps twice for a total of ten years.

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Devin Bartolotta

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