D.J. Durkin has been hired as an assistant coach at Mississippi, the school announced Thursday, a little more than 14 months after being fired as Maryland’s head coach following the death of one of his players.
Durkin, 41, was placed on administrative leave after 19-year-old Terrapins lineman Jordan McNair died in June 2018 from heat-related illness. Durkin was reinstated Oct. 30, 2018, after a university investigation, but outrage from Maryland players and others prompted the school to reverse course and fire the coach the next day.
Since then, Durkin has worked as a consultant for the Atlanta Falcons and several college football programs. This will be his first full-time job since leaving Maryland.
According to Yahoo Sports, Mississippi’s athletic administration and campus officials approved of Durkin’s hiring. Former USC coach Lane Kiffin is the new Mississippi coach.
“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,” 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.”
Before his two years as Maryland’s head coach, Durkin was defensive coordinator at Michigan and Florida.
Former Michigan assistant Chris Partridge and former Texas A&M and Missouri assistant Joe Jon Finley also are joining Kiffin’s staff, Ole Miss announced Thursday.