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Maryland To Reinstate DJ Durkin, Retain Damon Evans

October 30, 2018
The University System of Maryland Board of Regents recommended the University of Maryland reinstate head football coach DJ Durkin and keep athletic director Damon Evans in his position, Board of Regents chair James T. Brady announced during a news conference in Baltimore Oct. 30.

University president Wallace Loh, who announced he will step down from his position in June 2019, will implement the Board's recommendations. During the news conference, Loh deferred to Evans as to whether Durkin would be the on the sideline for the Terps' game against Michigan State Nov. 3. Durkin met with his staff and players before practice Oct. 30, according to multiple reports.

Durkin was placed on administrative leave Aug. 11. ESPN reported Aug. 10 that 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who died June 13, "showed signs of extreme exhaustion" during a May 29 workout, after which he was hospitalized. A second ESPN report Aug. 10 detailed a "toxic coaching culture" within the Maryland football program under Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court. Court resigned Aug. 14. 

Loh said Aug. 14 that Maryland accepted "moral and legal responsibility" for McNair's death. Loh also announced the school was forming a committee to investigate the culture of the football program, the results of which were formally released Oct. 29. The report stated the football team "did not have a 'toxic culture,' but it did have a culture where problems festered because too many players feared speaking out." 

Following the release of the report, the Board recommended to retain Durkin, who is in the third year of a six-year contract. Loh deferred to Evans regarding the status of football athletic trainer Wes Robinson and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall, both of whom were placed on administrative leave Aug. 11.

Following the Oct. 30 news conference, Glenn Clark and Luke Jackson reacted to the news:



Maryland released statements from Durkin and Evans Oct. 30 following the reinstatement of Durkin.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team and very much appreciate having the support of the Board of Regents," Durkin said. "Our thoughts have and will continue to be with Jordan’s family. I am proud that the team has remained united and represented themselves and the University well during this difficult time. As we move forward, I am confident that our team will successfully represent the entire University in a positive way both on and off the field."

"DJ Durkin is our head football coach and has all the customary responsibilities along with it," Evans said. "Coach Durkin is focused on ensuring that there is a smooth transition and his priority is the well-being of our student-athletes."

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox 

* This story has been updated to include statements from Durkin and Evans.