COLLEGE PARK, Md., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- University of Maryland officials said Monday they would buy out the remainder of football Coach Ralph Friedgen's contract effective Jan. 2.
Friedgen, 63, is coming off a season in which the Terrapins went 8-4 and earned a spot in the Military Bowl. He was voted the ACC coach of the year while pushing his 10-season record at Maryland to 74-50.
His tenure with Maryland will end after the Dec. 29 Military Bowl in nearby Washington. Maryland officials said the buyout would cost about $2 million.
"I sincerely thank and commend Ralph for his decade of good work as Maryland's head football coach as well as his and his wife Gloria's efforts on behalf of his alma mater over the last 10 years," said Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson.
"The decision to honor the financial terms of Ralph's current contract, while moving immediately forward with a national search for the best coach to lead Maryland football into the future was not an easy one. I am confident it was the right business decision for our long-term strategy to move Maryland athletics from good to great."
Anderson said he decided to change coaches after James Franklin, who had been named Friedgen's successor-in-waiting, left Maryland last week to become the coach at Vanderbilt. Over the weekend there were reports Maryland was looking to hire former Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach.