Military Bowl: Edsall, Holliday rivalry has roots at Marriott

Military Bowl: Edsall, Holliday rivalry has roots at Marriott
December 17, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Edsall says it's an 'honor' to play in Military Bowl

(USA TODAY Sports)

ANNAPOLIS--Back in the day, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall and Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, then at Syracuse and West Virginia respectively, used to tread the same fertile recruiting grounds in the state of Florida. They were much younger then, in their 20s, and beginning to get their feet wet in the coaching profession.

They would run into each other in one spot, Edsall recalls, the 17th Street Marriott in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where coaches would often stay during their recruiting trips to the region.

An arrangement like that comes with it a certain number of inherently competing forces, as coaches develop friendship and camaraderie while at the same time working against each other to secure commitments from the nation’s top football talent.

How many years have passed? Holliday and Edsall can’t exactly recall, but here again the two sit side-by-side as head coaches in a press conference as their teams prepare to face one another in the 2013 Military Bowl.

[RELATED: CB Dexter McDougle defends Randy Edsall via Instagram]

“I’ve got such great respect for [Edsall] because I knew whether it was recruiting, whether it was coaching or whatever that we were in for a battle and we had to work extremely hard to find a way to win,” Holliday said. “Nothing has changed 30, 40 years, whatever it’s been later on down the road.”

Time has passed and the coaches have moved, Holliday from West Virginia to NC State to Florida, back to West Virginia and then to Marshall, Edsall from Syracuse to Boston College to the NFL to Georgia Tech, then Connecticut and Maryland, but the lack of consistent communication between the two over time doesn’t change what’s ahead in the Military Bowl.

“As you become head coaches, you kind of lose track and all those sort of things, but you bump into him every once in a while,” Edsall said. “But, I just knew that when … we were going to play Marshall … we’ve got a tough row to hoe here because, again, I know what kind of coach he is.”

From a hotel in Florida to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Dec. 27, the paths of these two long-time-assistants-turned-head-coaches crosses again.

“If you’re going to play a game like this, I’m glad I’m going against a guy like Doc,” Edsall said. “We know that we’re going to have to play a tremendous game in order to win.”

To purchase tickets to the 2013 Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md., click here.