D.J. Durkin was finally fired by the University of Maryland in October after a player died on his watch, an investigative report found a “toxic” culture in the football program, much of the rest of his team threatened revolt, the university president resigned, and the state’s governor took him to task. Naturally, he already has a new gig.
According to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Durkin has been working for the top-ranked, undefeated Crimson Tide “in a consultant-like capacity” over the past week. While Zenitz reports it’s unclear whether the role will lead to something more permanent, it represents Durkin’s first step back into college football less than two months after being driven out as Maryland’s head coach, and less than half a year after sophomore offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of heatstroke that was not treated properly. Here’s what the parent of a Maryland player said about Durkin way back in 2016:
“Are any of you aware or do you even care about the number of student athletes suffering from severe emotional distress because of the abusive actions of Coach Durkin?” it asked. “His actions are extreme and outrageous; intentional and reckless, and the sole cause of the emotional distress.”
And here’s what another parent said during an investigation into Durkin’s program: “We are worried that this narcissistic sociopath is going to come back. To me, he should never coach again.”
That Durkin should never coach—or “consult on”—a football team again seems so obvious as to be farcical. That he would get another chance despite overwhelming evidence that he ran a dysfunctional, dangerous program at Maryland seems just about as obvious. Congrats in advance on that national championship ring, Coach.