Michael Locksley returned home to become the University of Maryland’s 37th head football coach in December 2018. Locksley, a Washington, D.C. native with deep personal and professional connections to the area, brings over 20 years of coaching experience, including two separate stints at Maryland, totalling 10 years with the Terps.
The winner of the 2018 Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach, Locksley has spent the last three years working under Nick Saban at the University of Alabama. He served as the Crimson Tide’s co-offensive coordinator and won a national championship last season before being promoted to offensive coordinator in February of 2018 and helping Alabama return to the College Football Playoff.
Locksley, known for strong recruiting skills, was listed as a top-25 recruiter in the nation three different times (2003, 2005, 2006) and was a finalist for 2007 recruiter of the year by Rivals.com. He also engineered top-10 recruiting classes during each of his two seasons (2003-04) as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Florida.
Locksley has signed 21 four or five star recruits over his coaching career (according to 247sports), 14 of which came from the DMV area, in addition to coaching 92 NFL Draft selections. Among Locksley’s successful signings to Maryland were future NFL stars Vernon Davis, Shawne Merriman, LaMont Jordan, D’Qwell Jackson, EJ Henderson, Yannick Ngakoue and Stefon Diggs.
Alabama’s Locksley-led offense is averaging 47.9 points and 527.6 yards per game in 2018. The Tide has already set school records for points scored (623), single-season total offense (6,859 yards) and passing yards (4,231) in a season. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has thrown for 3,189 yards and a school-record 37 touchdowns in 2018.
In 2017, Locksley coached the Alabama wide receivers, who combined to catch 128 passes for 2,059 yards and 19 touchdowns led by First Team All-SEC selection Calvin Ridley. Ridley hauled in 63 passes for 967 yards and five touchdowns in his junior season. Locksley spent the 2016 season on the Crimson Tide’s staff as an offensive analyst.
Prior to Alabama, Locksley served as Maryland’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2012-15. He was named the Terps interim head coach for the final six games of the 2015 season.
During his time as Maryland’s offensive coordinator, the Terrapins produced balanced and effective results. Locksley’s attack was led by quarterback C.J. Brown, who became Maryland’s all-time leader in touchdowns responsible (58) after totaling 13 passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns in 2014. Locksley also mentored wide receiver, Stefon Diggs, who hauled in 62 passes for 792 yards and five touchdowns en route to second team All-Big Ten honors. Diggs is now an NFL superstar for the Minnesota Vikings.
In 2013, Locksley guided an offense that eclipsed 5,000 yards (5,160) for only the fourth time in program history and the first time since 2003. The passing game excelled that season, totaling 3,231 yards for the third-highest total in school history.
Prior to Maryland, Locksley served as the head coach at the University of New Mexico from 2009-11. Before that, Locksley also served as the offensive coordinator at the University of Illinois from 2005-08. The Illini went from No. 72 nationally in total offense in 2005 to 19th following the 2008 season. They led the Big Ten in rushing in 2006 and 2007 and then led the league in passing in 2008. The rushing attack was twice ranked in the top-10 nationally (No. 10 in 2006 and No. 5 in 2007).
Under Locksley’s offensive plan, wide receiver Arrelious Benn was a first team all-conference pick as a sophomore in 2008 after leading the league in receiving yards (1,055). He went on to become a second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The 2007 Illinois offense became just the third unit in school history to surpass the 5,000-yard mark and first to top 3,000 rushing yards. Led by Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Rashard Mendenhall, the Illini led the league in rushing for the second straight year and finished fifth nationally at 256.7 yards a game.
Illinois played USC in the 2008 Rose Bowl and finished the season ranked 18th in the nation in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll and 20th by the Associated Press following a 9-4 season. In 2006, Locksley led an Illinois offense that paced the Big Ten and ranked 10th in the nation in rushing, averaging 188.8 yards.
Locksley spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons at the University of Florida as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. In 2004, Gators’ running back Ciatrick Fason led the SEC and ranked 19th in the NCAA in rushing (105.6 yards a game) on his way to second-team all-league honors.
In his first stint at Maryland from 1997-2002, Locksley enjoyed success both recruiting and grooming players in College Park. He oversaw the running backs during his entire tenure, including the final five as recruiting coordinator. Three different running backs – Chris Downs, Bruce Perry and LaMont Jordan – gained more than 1,000 yards and were named First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
He began his coaching career at Towson in 1992, where he coached defensive backs and special teams, followed by two seasons at the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School. He coached outside linebackers at the University of the Pacific in 1995 and then coached wide receivers and tight ends at Army in 1996.
Locksley played safety at Towson University, where he was the team’s defensive MVP as a senior in 1991. He finished his career ranked 19th on the school’s all-time tackles list and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing.
Locksley and his wife, Kia, have four children: Mike Jr., Kai, Kori and the late Meiko.