Jan. 27, 2005
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland head football coach Ralph Friedgen announced today the hiring of John Donovan as the team's new running backs coach. Donovan replaces Bill O'Brien who left the team to become Duke's offensive coordinator in December.
Donovan has been with the Terps for four-plus seasons and is in his seventh year overall working alongside Friedgen. His first four years were spent as Maryland's assistant recruiting coordinator.
"John Donovan has been a coach who has grown up in our system," said Friedgen. "He was a graduate assistant for me for three years, and our recruiting assistant for another four years. He knows our offense as well as anybody in the country and he has always done everything we have asked him. He knows the position and I know he will do an outstanding job."
Prior to taking over his current post, Donovan's position in the recruiting department included maintaining and organizing the Terrapins' recruiting database, setting up all recruiting events (official and unofficial visits, game day visits, recruiting weekends, etc.) and serving as director of all football camps held by the University of Maryland. In addition, he oversaw the group of graduate assistants employed by the team from 2001-2004.
This is Donovan's first full-time coaching position at the Division I-A level, but he does not lack experience in the coaching ranks. Prior to coming to College Park, he served as an offensive graduate assistant at Georgia Tech for three years, working directly with then-offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen. In that time, he broke down all opponent game film, assisted with coaching quarterbacks (1998) and the offensive line (1999-2000), while helping Friedgen with game planning and practice preparation. During his tenure, Tech won an ACC Championship (1998) and had the nation's leading offense (1999), averaging over 200 yards passing and rushing while setting 59 school records in the process.
Notably, Donovan's first job as a position coach at the Division I-A level - though temporary -- came when Friedgen departed at the end of the 2000 season to become the Terrapins' head coach. Bill O'Brien was elevated to serve as the team's offensive coordinator for the 2000 Peach Bowl in Friedgen's absence and Donovan was called upon to serve as the Yellow Jackets' running backs coach for the game.
Prior to his arrival in Atlanta, Donovan worked as an assistant secondary coach at Villanova, helping the Wildcats in 1997 to a 12-1 season and a No. 1 ranking (Division I-AA) in the season's final six weeks. His responsibilities with the Wildcats included coaching the team's safeties, coordinating scout teams for the offense and special teams and breaking down game film for the defense.
A 1997 graduate of Johns Hopkins, Donovan was a three-year starter for the Blue Jays' football team. He was twice named an all-conference defensive back and recorded 12 career interceptions. While in school, he worked as a training camp intern for the Carolina Panthers, assisting general manager Bill Polian with the team's internal operations. He later went on to earn his master's degree in economics from Georgia Tech.
The Donovan File
Personal Date of Birth: September 11, 1974 Hometown: River Edge, N.J. Alma Mater: Johns Hopkins University, `97
Coaching Experience Maryland 2005 Asst. Coach -- Running Backs 2001-04 Assistant Recruiting Coordinator Georgia Tech 1998-2001 Graduate Assistant - Offense Villanova University 1997-98 Assistant Secondary Coach
Playing Experience Johns Hopkins Football (defensive back), 1993-96
Recruiting Areas South New Jersey, Delaware and Ohio.
John Donovan takes over as the Terrapins' running backs coach.