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Maryland fires head coach Ralph Friedgen

Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson announced on Monday that the school has bought out the last year of head coach Ralph Friedgen's contract.

Maryland will pay out $2 million in compensation and benefits to Friedgen, as was owed in his current contract, which was set to end on Jan. 2, 2012.

The school said in a press release that Friedgen will coach the Terrapins in the Military Bowl against East Carolina on Dec. 29.

In 10 years as Maryland's head coach, Friedgen was 74-50 and took the Terps to seven bowl games. Maryland was 2-10 in 2009, but rebounded for an 8-4 record this season. Friedgen was recently named ACC coach of the year. He also won the award in 2001.

"As Athletic Director, I had to make a decision about what is best for Maryland Athletics for the long-term and not just the next year or two," Anderson said in a statement on the school's website. "I now need to hire someone who can excite the fan base and take this program to the next level while making sure our student-athletes show strong results in the classroom as well."

ESPN.com is reporting that Anderson acknowledged that former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach is on Maryland's preliminary list to replace Friedgen.

New York Sports