Disgraced coach D.J. Durkin hired to lead Texas A&M defense

Obviously DJ Durkin is back in college football.
Illustration: Getty Images

If Jordan McNair’s friends or family ever had a fight with someone responsible for giving DJ Durkin a job in football since 2018, it would be understandable.

The former head coach at the University of Maryland was fired in 2018 due to running a program so vile, disturbing and dysfunctional that he was found guilty of McNair’s death, as training staff misdiagnosed his symptoms afterwards. passed out during heavy off-season training. which ended with him dying of heat stroke.

Wednesday it was announced that Texas A&M is hiring Durkin be their new defensive coordinator. Durkin is Teflon to the consequences. And just to remind you, here are some things that were allowed it to happen within Durkin’s Maryland program.

  • Former strength and conditioning coach Rick Court once approached a player who was struggling with a workout and “pressed the lat bar to his neck, choking him.”
  • The coaching staff made the team watch disturbing videos during meals. The videos included serial killers, drills penetrating the eyeballs, and blood scenes with animals eating animals. It was thought to be a motivational tactic.
  • The court humiliated the players in front of their teammates by throwing them food, weights and even a trash can full of vomit.

You would think Durkin would be a black sheep in the coaching world. However, this was not the case due to the combination of its whiteness and the occasional toxic culture of football. By 2019, the The Atlanta Falcons had hired Durkin as their visiting coach – under former head coach Dan Quinn – during retirement.

Quinn called McNair’s death an “unfortunate situation”.

“I probably didn’t do it because I know who the person who trained with him before is”, Quinn said when asked if he hesitated over the decision. “So I knew his past as a defensive manager and special teams. Doing our due diligence from there. … An unfortunate situation, of course, but as far as eyes to look at the defense to help us, I certainly knew the advantage of that. “

Looking back, the move should have been predicted by Quinn considering one of his coaches once asked Eli Apple about his sexual preferences at the NFL Combine during an interview.

In 2020, Durkin appeared in Mississippi when Lane Kiffin was looking for a defensive coordinator at Ole Miss, as Durkin returned to the SEC after having previous experience as a coordinator in Florida.

According to the numbers, Ole Miss had the SEC’s eighth best defense, which ranked them 97th nationally. So, it’s not like Durkin is a defensive wizard whose arrival can immediately turn a program upside down. No, he’s just a white dude who did something really bad that other white dudes have no problem ignoring because the people he hurt don’t look like him.

Don’t be surprised if DJ Durkin will be running his program again soon.


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