The Maryland Terrapins football
team represents the University of Maryland
in National Collegiate Athletic Association
(NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision
(FBS, formerly Division I-A) competition. The Terrapins compete within the Atlantic Division
of the Atlantic Coast Conference
(ACC). Since 1950, the Terrapins have played their home games at Byrd Stadium
in College Park, Maryland
. The team's official colors of red, white, black, and gold have been in use in some combination since the 1920s and are taken from the state flag, and the nickname of the "Terrapins" (often abbreviated as "Terps") was adopted in 1933 after a turtle species
native to the state. Maryland shares storied rivalries with Virginia
and West Virginia
The program's achievements have included two NCAA-recognized national championships, nine ACC championships, two Southern Conference championships, eleven consensus All-Americans, several Hall of Fame inductees, and twenty-three bowl game appearances. Maryland possesses the third-most ACC championships with nine, which places them behind Clemson (13) and Florida State (12). Many former Terrapins players and coaches have gone on to careers in professional football including 15 first-round NFL Draft picks.
The first officially recognized football team was fielded in 1892, and excluding a brief hiatus in 1895, Maryland has competed in college football each season since. Harry C. "Curley" Byrd, a student-athlete at Maryland, became head football coach in 1911 and served in that role for two decades before he became the university president. The Terrapins had consistent on-field success between 1947 and 1953. Maryland then suffered a period of mediocrity, until 1972, when the program again rose to national prominence. The football program underwent another period of lackluster performance beginning in 1987 and lasting until 2001, when Ralph Friedgen was hired as head coach and engineered a first-year turnaround that culminated in a conference championship. In the following years, the Terrapins made regular postseason appearances, but have been unable to match the success of Friedgen's first season.