Brian Stewart, who coached the Houston Cougars' defense to a Top 15 performance this past season, will take over as the defensive coordinator at Maryland in 2012, the school announced Tuesday.
Stewart, who has spent the past two seasons at Houston, led the Cougars to top-flight ratings in red-zone scoring, interceptions, tackles for loss, turnovers and passing efficiency last season; a year in which Houston finished 13-1 and finished 14th in the USA Today Coaches' Poll.
"He is a proven defensive coordinator at both the collegiate and professional level," Maryland head coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. "All of his experience will help us move forward as we look for him to implement his aggressive style."
Before joining the Houston program, Stewart spent nearly a decade in the NFL, with coaching stops in Houston, San Diego and Philadelphia. His Division-I college coaching experience includes jobs at San Jose State, Missouri and Syracuse.
Stewart will be tasked with turning around a defense that gave up points and yards in droves during a 2-10 2011 season. The Terrapins gave up over 34 points per game last season and gave up more than 35 in six of their 12 games, including giving up 56 points to both Clemson and North Carolina State.