McNair's dad expresses approval of Locksley hire
When Michael Locksley was introduced as Maryland's football coach on Thursday, among those he mentioned by name was the person perhaps most interested in how Locksley will run the Terrapins program.
"There's one person in particular that I have a tremendous relationship with and it means the world to me that he would be here to celebrate this joyous day," Locksley told the media gathered in College Park, Md. "My good friend Marty McNair."
Marty McNair is the father of Jordan McNair, the former Maryland player who died June 13 from heatstroke he suffered during a team workout on May 29. Jordan McNair was 19 when he died.
And, according to ESPN's Heather Dinich, Marty McNair is happy to see his friend in charge at Maryland.
"We support Mike one thousand percent," McNair told Dinich.
Locksley, who will continue in his role as Alabama's offensive coordinator until the Tide's season is over, was hired by Maryland on Tuesday night. The former Maryland offensive coordinator (2012-15) and interim head coach (2015) replaces DJ Durkin, who was fired by the university on Halloween after the fallout from an investigation into the program's culture launched in the wake of McNair's death.
The Lockley and McNair families go back years, and they have gone through the tragedy of the loss of a child before.
Locksley's 25-year-old son, Meiko, was shot and killed in September 2017 in Columbia, Md., in a crime that remains unsolved. And when Jordan McNair signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Maryland, classmate Kori Locksley -- Michael's daughter -- signed her letter to play soccer at Auburn.
Kori Locksley was in the front row for her father's news conference on Thursday.
"I appreciate you being here with me," Locksley said as he looked out toward McNair. "Marty and my relationship goes back a long way. We both have tragically lost our kids. I have been a mentor for Marty, and Marty has been a sounding board for me the last year and a half as we have worked through the emotions and toughness of losing a child."
Locksley, who reportedly signed a five-year contract with Maryland, also spoke with Maryland players prior to his news conference.
"I told them I'm not just here to build a winning football team, I'm here to build a winning football family," Locksley said. "The thing about family as we all know, that family name is something that people wear with pride. ...
"As I told the team, our family name is Terrapins -- Terps for short -- (and) when people say it, I want them to say it with some respect. I want our players to be very prideful about that family name and I want us to display and be the program we need to be to make the Terp name proud and successful."
--Field Level Media
© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.