D.J. Durkin last coached in college in 2017, as head coach at Maryland. He was placed on administrative leave a few weeks before the 2018 season, in the wake of the scandal following the death of Terrapins offensive lineman Jordan McNair. That October, he was fired, a day after being controversially reinstated.
This season, Durkin caught on with the Atlanta Falcons as a consultant. Now, he is reentering the college ranks.
Lane Kiffin is never one to shy away from scandal. It probably doesn’t surprise much that he is the one hiring Durkin.
The former Maryland head coach will join his first staff at Ole Miss for the 2020 season, in a yet-to-be-announced role. The school said that it fully vetted the hire before making the decision to bring him on.
From Yahoo Sports:
Ole Miss became comfortable with Durkin after doing an extensive background check, according to sources. The hire was cleared well beyond new Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, as both the athletic administration and campus officials signed off on the Durkin hire.
“We received consistently strong feedback about Coach Durkin’s strong character and work ethic and his positive impact on the communities and institutions where he was previously employed,” Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter said in a statement. “Once we had the chance to spend time with Coach Durkin, we were even more convinced that he is exactly the type of accomplished coach with strong football credentials who is also a proud and committed family man that will make him a great addition to our new staff.”
Durkin is one of three hires announced by the Rebels today. He’s joined by Chris Partridge, with whom he previously coached at Michigan, as well as former Texas A&M tight ends coach Jon Joe Finley.