DJ Durkin Observing Alabama Coaching Staff After Maryland Firing

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin yells at an official in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in College Park, Md., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Former University of Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin has been working as a consultant for the University of Alabama football team over the past week, according to AL.com's Matt Zenitz.

Zenitz reported that it isn't yet known if Durkin might join the program on a more permanent basis in the future.

On Friday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban released the following statement regarding Durkin's business with the team, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports: "D.J. Durkin is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint. He has not been hired in any capacity at [Alabama]. He is simply observing our operation as many other coaches have done through the years."

Durkin was fired by Maryland in October shortly after his return from administrative leave stemming from an investigation into the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and a reported "toxic culture" within the Terrapins football program.

The Maryland Board of Regents recommended that Durkin stay on as head coach, but the university parted ways with him one day after he was reinstated because of public backlash.

McNair died of heatstroke two weeks after collapsing during a team workout in May.

University President Wallace D. Loh later announced that the school accepted "legal and moral responsibility" for the mistakes made by its athletic training staff in McNair's death.

An August investigative report released by ESPN revealed allegations from players and others associated with the football team of a "toxic culture" built on fear and intimidation that was said to have been created by Durkin and strength coach Rick Court, who was subsequently fired.

Durkin went 10-15 in two seasons as Maryland's head coach.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada took over as the interim head coach at Maryland and led the Terrapins to a 5-7 record in 2018.

Maryland has since hired Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as its new head coach.

The No. 1 Crimson Tide are preparing to face the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 for a chance to play in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

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