A day after reinstating him as head coach of Maryland football, D.J. Durkin was fired on Wednesday after the Terrapins’ practice. The decision came down after significant pressure, both outside from people like governor Larry Hogan, and within the program from parents and players on the roster.
Maryland becomes the second team to fire its head coach during the season, and the first Power Five opening of the year. The only other job right now is at Bowling Green.
So who will the Terrapins peg as their next head coach? I gave my list last night, headlined by the man who will likely lead the Terps to a bowl game this year, interim head coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Yahoo! Sports college football insider Pete Thamel gave his list of 10 potential coaches for the Maryland football job.
His list features coaches at pretty much every level, including Power Five and Group of Five head coaches, and P5 coordinators.
The biggest name that Thamel features is probably former Texas and Louisville head coach Charlie Strong, who is now at USF:
He’s a proven winner, a familiar brand and could rally the high school coaches there. Would need a strong offensive coordinator and some plugged in local recruiters. He has the right demeanor and experience to handle a delicate situation. He’s quietly gone 17-3 in two seasons at USF.
Strong didn’t work out at Texas, but he was phenomenal at Louisville, and his recruiting strengths are a much better fit for UMD than they were for the Longhorns. He’s done a very good job maintaining what Willie Taggart built at USF, but has been overshadowed by UCF’s crazy run.
The lone Power Five head coach on the list just cracked the Top 25 with his team: Syracuse’s Dino Babers. It seems like a stretch that Babers would leave the Orange the year that he gets them to a bowl for what is a pretty lateral job, with plenty of baggage left by Durkin to boot, but until Syracuse gets him a big contract extension, he’s going to pop up on these lists.
The other head coaches are also interesting names. Thamel lists Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo, who was reportedly a candidate for the Arizona job last season, Memphis’ Mike Norvell, Toledo’s Jason Candle, and Temple’s Geoff Collins. Mike Houston of FCS power James Madison is also mentioned.