D. J. Durkin
File:D.J. Durkin.jpg
Durkin in August 2017
Current position
TeamAtlanta Falcons
Biographical details
Born (1978-01-15) January 15, 1978 (age 42)
Youngstown, Ohio
Playing career
Position(s)Defensive end, outside linebacker
Head coaching record

Daniel John Durkin[1] (born January 15, 1978) is an American football coach. He is the former football head coach for the University of Maryland. Before Maryland, he was the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan. He also served as the interim head football coach and defensive coordinator of the Florida Gators football team for the team's 2014 bowl game.

Durkin began serving as the head coach of the University of Maryland football team in 2015.[2] Following the practice-related death of player Jordan McNair, Durkin was placed on leave in August 2018.[3] Matt Canada was named acting head coach until further notice.[3]

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents reinstated Durkin on October 30, 2018,[4] instigating protests and uproar.[5] University of Maryland President Wallace Loh fired Durkin the next day.[6]

Playing careerEdit

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Durkin attended Boardman High School where he was an all-conference and all-Northeast Ohio selection.[7][8]

Durkin played defensive end and outside linebacker at Bowling Green from 1997 to 2000, and served as a team captain his final two seasons. He started a total of 33 games in his career and recorded 131 tackles, including 28 for loss. Durkin led the team in sacks in 1998 and finished second in that category in 2000. He earned a bachelor's degree in business marketing in 2001, and a master's degree in educational administration and supervision in 2004.[9]

Coaching careerEdit

Durkin began a career in coaching immediately following his playing career. He worked as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green under new head coach Urban Meyer in 2001 and 2002, and at Notre Dame under head coach Tyrone Willingham in 2003 and 2004. He returned to Bowling Green in 2005, where he coached defensive ends, linebackers, and special teams on the staff of Gregg Brandon. In 2007, he moved to Stanford on the first staff of Jim Harbaugh, where he served for three seasons as the Cardinal defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator. In 2010, Durkin was reunited with Meyer when he joined the Florida Gators as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. He remained on Florida's staff when Will Muschamp took over as head coach in 2010, and in 2013 was promoted to defensive coordinator, replacing Dan Quinn.[1][9][10]

Durkin has a reputation as a strong national recruiter and was named the 2012 Recruiter of the Year.[11]

On November 22, 2014, Durkin was named interim head coach for Florida's bowl game after the previous head coach, Will Muschamp, announced he would step down following the regular season.[12] Durkin led Florida to a 28–20 victory in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl against East Carolina.[13]

On January 5, 2015, sources confirmed that Durkin was hired as the defensive coordinator of Michigan. The hire reunited Durkin with new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.[14] Michigan confirmed the hire on January 8, and announced that Durkin would also coach linebackers.[15]

On December 2, 2015 ESPN's Joe Schad announced that Durkin was expected to be named head coach of the Maryland Terrapins football team,[16] which was confirmed later that day.[2]

Player death and resulting scandalEdit

On August 11, 2018, Durkin was placed on administrative leave after Maryland was placed under investigation amid toxic culture allegations against the team after the death of player Jordan McNair.[3] McNair was hospitalized on May 29, 2018 after showing signs of heatstroke and exhaustion while participating in a team workout, and later died at the age of 19.[17]

He returned 80 days later, after the Board of Regents recommendation to stay.[4][18][19] Damon Evans, the athletic director, announced the Board of Regents' decision to the team with Durkin present; Durkin later held a meeting with the team without other coaches, and several players walked out of that meeting.[4] However, due to intense backlash Durkin was fired as head coach on October 31, 2018, just one day after being reinstated.[20]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (2014)
2014 Florida 1–0[n 1] 0–0 3rd (Eastern) W Birmingham
Florida: 1–0
Maryland Terrapins (Big Ten Conference) (2016–present)
2016 Maryland 6–7 3–6 5th (East) L Quick Lane
2017 Maryland 4–8 2–7 6th (East)
Maryland: 10–15 5-13
Total: 11–15
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "DJ Durkin Bio". Archived from the original on November 6, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "DJ Durkin Named Head Football Coach - Maryland Terrapins Athletics" (Press release). December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Maese, Rick; Stubbs, Roman (August 11, 2018). "Maryland places DJ Durkin on administrative leave amid reports of football program’s toxic culture". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dinich, Heather; Rittenberg, Adam. "DJ Durkin returns to Terrapins with board of regents' backing". ESPN. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  5. Rittenberg, Adam (October 31, 2018). "Maryland students to protest DJ Durkin's reinstatement". ESPN. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  6. Collins, David; Hepkins, Andre; Sanudsky, Gerry (November 1, 2018). "UMd. fires head football coach DJ Durkin". WBAL TV 11. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  7. Autullo, Ryan. "UT's coach Campbell, Durkin set to face off in Florida". Toledo Blade. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  8. "Player Bio: D.J. Durkin - - Stanford University". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Gator Football Coaches & Support Staff". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  10. "D.J. Durkin - Michigan Football". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  11. Chris Nee Recruiting Analyst. " Football Recruiting - Durkin named Recruiter of Year". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  12. "Defensive coordinator to helm Gators". November 22, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  13. Associated Press 7:34 p.m. EST January 3, 2015 (January 3, 2015). "Gators ride big plays for Birmingham Bowl win". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  14. "University of Michigan Wolverines Football & Basketball". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  15. "Durkin Hired as Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  16. "Report: D.J. Durkin To Be Next Maryland Head Coach". Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  17. "Timeline: Everything that led to DJ Durkin's firing at Maryland" (in en). Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  18. Richman, Talia; Broadwater, Luke; Markus, Don (October 30, 2018). "Evans, Durkin to remain at University of Maryland; Loh to retire in June". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  19. Stubbs, Roman; Giambalvo, Emily; Larimer, Sarah (October 30, 2018). "DJ Durkin returns to the Maryland football team, and three players walk out of his first meeting". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  20. "Maryland fires coach Durkin after reinstatement". October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.

Coaching tree Edit

Notable head coaches under whom Durkin has served:

Assistant coaches under D.J. Durkin who became NCAA head coaches:


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