University of Maryland fires football coach


Baltimore Sun

DJ Durkin was fired from his position as UMD football head coach. Durkin’s departure is the result of a lengthy investigation into the death of athlete Jordan McNair

The University of Maryland football program has been brought into the national spotlight once again over the past few days. University President Wallace Loh announced Wednesday that head coach DJ Durkin, who had been with the program since 2015, was fired.    

University of Maryland reinstated their head football coach DJ Durkin on Tuesday after an investigation of the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair concluded that the program didn’t have a toxic culture.  Within minutes of the announcement, student protests along with criticism of the program from Governor Larry Hogan and Congressman Anthony Brown initiated a new response from the school, which resulted in the firing of coach Durkin.

A number of players walked out of a Durkin-led team meeting on Tuesday and didn’t attend Wednesday’s practice, according to ESPN. It can’t be said how large a factor Durkin’s coaching played in McNair’s death, but what is known is that a player died under his watch and under direct supervision from his program’s training staff.

Marty McNair, father of Jordan McNair, gave his choice of words for the firing of Durkin to ESPN.

“This is happening so fast, I just feel a level of gratitude that Dr. Loh took it upon himself to do the right thing in the face of what he was dealing with, the pressure he was dealing with,” McNair said. “It’s a step in the right direction to try to put some closure to this.”

While it was just announced that Durkin was fired, former offensive coordinator Matt Canada had already been been the interim head coach for the first eight games of this season while Durkin and the program were under investigation.

The university announced that Canada will continue with his head coaching duties at least for the time being. The Terrapins are currently 5-3 and are tied for third in the Big Ten East with Michigan State and Penn State.