COLLEGE PARK, Md. — University of Maryland Head Football Coach Michael Locksley announced Feb. 16 the hiring of Brian Stewart, Ron Zook and Zohn Burden to his coaching staff. Stewart will serve as Defensive Coordinator and safeties coach, Zook has been named Associate Head Coach and will be the Special Teams Coordinator and coach outside linebackers, while Burden will coach wide receivers for the Terrapins.
“These additions to our coaching staff make us stronger as a program as each brings a solid mix of experience, on-field player development and recruiting prowess,” said Locksley. “Brian has experience as a defensive coordinator at both the college and NFL levels. We share many of the same coaching philosophies and he has a great familiarity with our program and this area.
“I have a long-standing relationship with Coach Zook, who was integral in my development as a coach. He has a great special teams mind and adds a wealth of experience to our staff. Zohn comes highly recommended by numerous people that I respect in the coaching ranks. He’s from the talent-rich Tidewater region and should be a tremendous asset for us recruiting that area, in addition to his ability to develop our talented wide receiver unit.”
Stewart, who returns to Maryland after serving as Defensive Coordinator for the Terps from 2012-14, brings over 25 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional ranks. He helped lead the Terrapins to a pair of bowl game appearances while working on the same staff as Locksley.
Last season, Stewart served as the cornerbacks coach at Baylor, helping lead a Bears defense that finished second in the Big 12 Conference in both passing yards allowed per game (203.0) and interceptions (12). He’s coached 12 years in the NFL, including serving as the Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator from 2007-08.
“I’m thrilled to be back at Maryland, especially during this exciting time where Coach Locksley is building the program with his vision,” said Stewart. “I have a lot of love for Coach and his family. He’s a great coach and an even better man. I’m looking forward to working with the staff he’s assembled and developing a roster that’s filled with talented young players. This staff recruits extremely hard and the DMV is a great talent base to recruit. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Zook, who possesses 43 seasons of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional levels, has been a Senior Analyst for the Terrapins for the last two seasons. He has served as the head coach at University of Florida and University of Illinois and held coordinator roles in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and most recently as the special teams coordinator for the Green Bay Packers from 2015-18.
Zook and Locksley formed a relationship when Locksley served as Zook’s running backs coach/run game coordinator at Florida in 2003-04 and offensive coordinator at Illinois from 2005-08 where in 2007 the two led the Fighting Illini to a 9-4 record and the program’s first Rose Bowl berth since 1983.
“I hold Coach Locksley in extremely high regard and we’ve been together on some special staffs through the years,” said Zook. “I’ve always told him I’d help him in any way that I could and I’m excited to take on this new role on his staff. I’ve seen firsthand the work he’s put in to build this program the right way and I know the best is ahead for the Terps.”
Hailing from Virginia, Burden has spent his whole career recruiting and coaching in the area, most recently at Virginia Tech. He coached at Virginia Tech for five seasons between 2015-19, serving the wide receivers coach in 2015 and the running backs coach from 2016-19.
The Hokies won 40 games in Burden’s five seasons in Blacksburg, including an ACC Coastal Division title in 2016 and bowl game appearance in all five seasons. Burden was instrumental in Virginia Tech’s recruiting efforts, helping put together three top-30 classes and sign 21 four-star recruits, according to 247Sports.
“I’m grateful to Coach Locksley for this opportunity and am excited for what I can add to and learn from the coaching staff he’s assembled,” said Burden. “The wide receiver room is full of talent and I’m looking forward to helping continue their development. Maryland has really pushed the envelope in recruiting under Coach Locksley and I’m hoping that my relationships can only continue to help us grow in that area. It’s an exciting time to be a Terp.”
Locksley also announced that second-year coach Brawley Evans will now coach inside linebackers, while Tight Ends coach Mike Miller will now also serve as Passing Game Coordinator.
— Maryland Athletics press release
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics