December 12, 2012

Ralph & Gloria Friedgen Establish Football Scholarship

Charleston, S.C. – Former Maryland head football coach Ralph Friedgen, who began his coaching career at The Citadel, has established the Ralph & Gloria Friedgen Scholarship with The Citadel Brigadier Foundation.

The scholarship, which will first be offered in 2013-14, will be awarded to an offensive player.

"The Citadel is where we got our start, and Gloria joins me as we remember the many good years we had in Charleston," said Friedgen, who served as the defensive line coach (1973-74) and then offensive coordinator (1975-76) for Bobby Ross and co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for Art Baker (1977-79).

"The Citadel is a very special place, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there," said Gloria.  "Charleston is where we've decided to retire." 

"We are sincerely appreciative of Ralph and Gloria's generosity," said Director of Athletics Larry Leckonby, who was the Senior Associate Athletics Director at Maryland during part of Friedgen's tenure.  "They are first-class people, and we're happy they wanted to remember The Citadel in this fashion."

A native New Yorker, Friedgen was an offensive lineman at Maryland, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1970.  He later added a master's degree and served as a graduate assistant for the Terrapins.

After his stint at The Citadel, Friedgen served as offensive coordinator at William & Mary (1980), assistant head coach at Murray State (1981) and offensive coordinator at Maryland (1982-86) and Georgia Tech (1987-91).  He also spent the 1992-96 seasons with San Diego Chargers under Coach Ross where Friedgen guided the tight ends and served as the running game coordinator from 1992-93 and then served as offensive coordinator from 1994-96.  He was part of the Chargers' team that lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX after the 1994 season.

He returned to Georgia Tech as offensive coordinator from 1997-00 and was named Maryland's head coach in November 2000.

Friedgen led the Terps to a 10-2 campaign, their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 1985 and a national ranking in his first season in 2001.  Maryland made an appearance in the Orange Bowl, which was the team's first major bowl game in more than two decades.  Maryland was ranked sixth in the AP poll at end of regular season and No. 11 in the final poll.  For his efforts, Friedgen was named ACC coach of the year and national coach of the year by several organizations

In 2002 Maryland went 11-3 and matched the school record for wins in a season that was first set in 1976.  The Terps defeated Tennessee in the Peach Bowl for the college's first bowl win since 1985.

In 2003 Maryland went 10-3 and defeated West Virginia in the Gator Bowl as Friedgen became the first ACC coach to win 10 or more games in each of his first three seasons.  The Terps had a resurgence in 2006 as they went 9-4 and defeated Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl for his 50th career win. 

In 2008 Maryland finished 8-5 and defeated four Top 25 teams while topping Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl.  Two years later, in 2010, Friedgen led the Terrapins to a 9-4 record and he was named ACC coach of the year for second time.

Friedgen finished his head coaching career with a record of 75-50 which included a 5-2 record in bowl games and his teams finished in final AP Top 25 four times

Several of Friedgen's assistant coaches became head coaches and they include James Franklin of Vanderbilt, Bill O'Brien of Penn State and Mike Locksley, formerly of New Mexico.

While at The Citadel, Friedgen recruited the New York-New Jersey areas and among his many recruits was Brian Ruff, who earned All-America honors after the 1976 season.  He also recruited Lyvonia "Stump" Mitchell from Georgia, who spent nine years in the NFL.  Friedgen also coached several other players who own spots in the Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame.

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