Report: DJ Durkin Assisted Maryland Coaches During Suspension, Approved by AD

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 30:  Head Coach DJ Durkin of the Maryland Terrapins watches the teams warm up before the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCFBank Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

Former University of Maryland football coach DJ Durkin reportedly advised assistant coaches and helped create game plans during his time on administrative leave during the 2018 season.

According to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, a task force was informed that assistants sent Durkin game film and received feedback during his absence.

Maryland's Board of Regents reportedly knew about Durkin's role with the team, and the now-former coach told the board that his involvement was approved by athletic director Damon Evans.

The Board of Regents cleared Durkin to return as head coach on Oct. 30, but university president Wallace Loh fired Durkin the following day amid public backlash.

Durkin was head coach of the team when offensive lineman Jordan McNair died from a heatstroke suffered during a team workout in May, and several players later told ESPN of "a coaching environment based on fear and intimidation."

Maryland placed Durkin on administrative leave following the report, which also saw strength and conditioning coach Rick Court leave the school permanently.

Loh later announced that the University of Maryland accepted "legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes" made by the training staff that led to McNair's death, per ESPN's Heather Dinich.

In addition to Durkin and Court, Maryland parted ways with trainers Steve Nordwall and Wes Robinson.

While Durkin reportedly said that Evans allowed him to speak with the coaching staff during his leave, a university spokeswoman told Barker on Wednesday that Durkin "was not to perform coaching duties while on administrative leave" and that neither Evans nor Loh cleared him to do so.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has served as the interim head coach throughout the 2018 season.

The 5-5 Terrapins will look to make themselves bowl eligible Saturday when they host the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes.