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D.J. Durkin
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Football Coach
    (January 15, 1978- )
    Born in Youngstown, Ohio
    Birth name was Daniel John Durkin
    Assistant coach at Bowling Green (2005-06), Stanford (2007-09), Florida (2010-14) and Michigan (2015)
    Head coach at the University of Maryland (2016-18)
    Placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the Maryland football program following the June 13 death from heatstroke of player Jordan McNair (August 11, 2018)
    Reinstated by the University Board of Visitors (October 30, 2018)
    Fired the next day by University President Wallace Loh
    Nearly an hour passed between McNair collapsing and a 911 call being made.
    An ESPN investigation described a ‘toxic’ culture of fear, intimidation, and verbal abuse.
    More than a year before the ESPN investigation, anonymous emails had been sent to the University president about the ‘verbal and emotional abuse’ of players, and the mother of a former player had sent University officials a letter describing Durkin as ‘a psychopath who thinks he is more powerful than God.’
    He called strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, by all accounts the worst abuser (he was reported to have thrown food, weights, and a trash can full of vomit at players), as ‘the most important hire I made.’
    There was speculation that the Board’s main reason for reinstating him was to avoid having to take the double financial hit of paying his severance allowance and hiring a new coach.
    The announcement of his reinstatement produced protests from everyone from McNair’s father to the governor of Maryland.
    At least three players walked out of the first team meeting he called after his reinstatement.
    He was team captain his final two years as a player at Bowling Green.
    He was named Recruiter of the Year by (2012).
    As interim head coach at Florida after Will Muschamp resigned at the end of the regular season, he led the Gators to a victory in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl.
    The investigation concluded that the Maryland football program under Durkin was not ‘toxic,’ but merely ‘dysfunctional.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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