Durkin Looks to Boost Terp Football

by Liam Farrell | photo by Greg Fiume

After working for some of the best coaches in college football and leading one of the country’s top defenses, the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan has been named Maryland’s new head football coach.

“I really identify with this program,” D.J. Durkin said during his introductory press conference in December. “We’re going to bring in quality student-athletes that are going to compete for championships.”

During his single year in Ann Arbor, Durkin’s defense shut out three consecutive opponents and finished the regular season ranked No. 4 in the country. The Wolverines limited opponents to just 17 points per contest.

It was the latest stop for a coach known for his relentless approach to the game and recruiting. As an assistant coach at Florida from 2010-14, Durkin led top-15 defenses and was named the Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com in 2012.

“We’re going to be aggressive in everything we do,” he said. “I think you can ‘out-effort’ people on the field and off the field.”

He takes over a Terrapin team that finished the 2015 season with a 3-9 record; former head coach Randy Edsall was fired in October.

UMD Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said the coaching search focused on finding a strong leader with the energy, innovative football mind and pedigree to develop athletes.

“We found that person and the right person for our job,” he said.

Durkin, 38, grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and played football for Bowling Green, earning his bachelor’s in business marketing in 2001 and master’s in educational administration and supervision in 2004. His other coaching stops have included his alma mater, Notre Dame and Stanford.

He and his wife, Sarah, have two children, Abigail and Luke.


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