By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Maryland Terrapins heave announces that suspended head football coach D.J. Durkin will remain as the football coach. The school made the announcement on Tuesday.
University System of Maryland Board Chairman James Brady praises Durkin during his statement at the presser. However, during his remarks, President Wallace Loh did not mention Durkin by name in his comments.
When it was announced that Durkin would return, several players walked out. The team has gone 5-3 under interim head coach Matt Canada.
Durkin has been suspended since August by the school, as they investigated what led to Jordan McNair’s death. He will now re-gain control of the team.
His first game back with the team at home on Saturday against fellow 5-3 team, the Michigan State Spartans. The game will kick off at noon.
Also, at the press conference, it was announced that Damon Evans would remain in his role as Athletic Director.
It was described throughout the investigation, as news was brought to light, that Durkin had a toxic culture with the team.
Loh was reportedly told by the Board that if he did not keep Durkin, he was going to be fired. At the press conference, he announced he was going to retire at the end of the season.
According to the Washington Post, Loh was told on Friday that he had no option.
“It was made clear that if he wanted to remain in his position, he had no option,” said one person close to the situation said. “He ultimately felt it would’ve been tremendously disruptive to the entire campus if he was to be terminated simple because he wouldn’t put the coach back on the field. . . .
“The board has no authority to hire and fire a football coach, but they made clear that returning DJ to the field was their highest priority.”
The 40-year-old — who is making $2.5 million as the head coach — is 10-15 in two seasons. He had a 4-8 record in 2017.
The team went 6-7 during his first campaign with the team. They lost 36-30 to the Boston College Eagles in the Quick Lane Bowl on December 26th, 2016.
Brady placed almost all of the blame on former strength coach Rick Court. He said that Durkin’s “lack of oversight into Rick Court was Maryland’s fault since it did not properly train its first-time head coach.”
“We believe that Coach Durkin has been unfairly blamed for the dysfunction in the athletic department,” Brady said. “And while he shares some responsibility, it is not fair to place all of it at his feet.”