D.J. Durkin and AD Damon Evans are expected to return to their respective posts at Maryland, multiple reports stated Tuesday.
BREAKING: DJ Durkin is returning as #Terps football coach and will be on the sidelines for Saturday's game against Michigan State, multiple sources said. https://t.co/lHIKzioDlh pic.twitter.com/Lvz6H0rtbA
— Jeff Ermann (@Jeff_Ermann) October 30, 2018
DJ Durkin and Damon Evans both retaining Maryland jobs. School President Wallace Loh planning to retire in June. Much more coming shortly…
— Rick Maese (@RickMaese) October 30, 2018
DJ Durkin has been reinstated at Maryland and was to meet with his staff and players before practice Tuesday, sources say.
— Don Markus (@sportsprof56) October 30, 2018
Sources: #Maryland regents recommending coach DJ Durkin and AD Damon Evans both return. "The Board of Regents insisted that D.J. return, and this has been their highest priority," a source said.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 30, 2018
The University System of Maryland is expected to announce its recommendation to retain all three men at a 3:30 p.m. ET press conference on Tuesday.
The board does not have the authority to fire Durkin or Evans — only school president Wallace Loh does — but the USM board made it clear to Loh his position would be on the line if he did not reinstate Durkin, according to the Washington Post.
“It was made clear that if he wanted to remain in his position, he had no option,” said one person close to the situation said. “He ultimately felt it would’ve been tremendously disruptive to the entire campus if he was to be terminated simple because he wouldn’t put the coach back on the field. . . .
“The board has no authority to hire and fire a football coach, but they made clear that returning DJ to the field was their highest priority.”
Durkin has been on administrative leave since Aug. 11, following an explosive ESPN report into the Maryland football program that found a “toxic” culture. Maryland launched two concurrent, separate investigations, one into the events leading to the death of Terps offensive lineman Jordan McNair, and another into the culture of the football program under Durkin.
Maryland president Wallace Loh apologized on behalf of the school for McNair’s death, and the first report, which came back on Sept. 21, found the school responsible for the 19-year-old’s death.
Much of the disturbing and abusive allegations were laid at the feet of strength coach Rick Court, who Durkin hired. Court resigned the day Maryland announced its dual investigations (with Maryland agreeing to pay him over $300,000 to leave).
In the interim, offensive coordinator Matt Canada was elevated to head coach in Durkin’s stead. He has led the Terps to a 5-3 record, including a 3-2 mark in Big Ten play (wins over Minnesota, Rutgers & Illinois). Sources tell FootballScoop that Canada, who was hoping to secure the job on a permanent basis, had rallied the staff in support of him; re-aligning the staff behind him as its leader will be one of Durkin’s most immediate challenges. One source told FootballScoop there would undoubtedly be staff changes at the end of the season in the event Durkin returns.
Durkin is in his third season as Maryland’s head coach. The Terps went 6-7 in his first season and 4-8 in 2017.
The Terps host Michigan State on Saturday, then finish out at Indiana, vs. Ohio State and at Penn State.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.