D.J. Durkin to join Jim Harbaugh at Michigan as defensive coordinator

D.J. Durkin to join Jim Harbaugh at Michigan as defensive coordinator
D.J. Durkin talks with linebacker Michael Taylor during Florida's game against Florida State last season. (John Raoux / Associated Press)

Michigan hired D.J. Durkin as its new defensive coordinator Thursday, reuniting him with new Coach Jim Harbaugh.

Durkin was the first official addition to the coaching staff since Harbaugh was hired late last month to coach the Wolverines. In addition to being the defensive coordinator, Durkin will also coach Michigan's linebackers.

"D.J. is one of the top young defensive coordinators in football, and I look forward to having him work with our student-athletes," Harbaugh said. "He will make an excellent addition to our staff."

Durkin spent the last five seasons at Florida, including the last two as the Gators' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He was the interim head coach for Florida in the Birmingham Bowl last week after Will Muschamp was fired.

Durkin was on Harbaugh's staff at Stanford from 2007-09.

"Reuniting with Jim at the University of Michigan is an opportunity that I could not pass up," Durkin said. "We had some great times working together at Stanford, and I look forward to producing great results at Michigan. I look forward to coaching in the Big Ten after growing up in that footprint."

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Durkin went to Stanford after two seasons on the coaching staff at his alma mater, Bowling Green. He was a four-year starter at Bowling Green from 1997-2000.



Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. has announced he will enter the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-3, 294-pound Edwards says he will not return for his senior season in a statement released from his new agency Thursday.

Edwards says: "I truly hope that I will be lucky enough to have a successful NFL career, and do Florida State proud for years to come, as so many of its alumni have done."

Edwards led the team in 2014 with 11 tackles for loss and finished with three sacks. He didn't reach his goal of double-digit sacks this season, but he was one of the Seminoles' top defenders the last two years. Florida State won a national championship and three ACC titles during his career.


Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith has signed a three-year contract, one of six Razorbacks assistant coaches to agree to new contracts following the school's first winning season in three years.
Assistant coaches Barry Lunney, Clay Jennings, Sam Pittman, Ben Herbert and Rory Segrest also received raises following Coach Bret Bielema's second season. The school also says new contracts for offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, running backs Joel Thomas and wide receivers coach Michael Smith are being finalized. ... Iowa has named C.J. Beathard its starting quarterback, replacing two-year starter Jake Rudock. ... Houston has hired Major Applewhite as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The 36-year-old former Texas quarterback was out of coaching this past season after seven years as an assistant at his alma mater.