Football Coaching Staff
DJ Durkin
Head Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio
High School: Boardman High School
Alma Mater: Bowling Green
Graduating Year: 2001
Major: Business Marketing
Experience: 3 Years
Phone: 301-314-7095

DJ Durkin is entering his third season at the helm of the University of Maryland football program in 2018. Durkin doubled the Terrapins win total during his first season in College Park and has excelled on the recruiting trail, bringing in consecutive Top 30 signing classes for the first time in program history.

Regarded as one of the brightest young coaching minds in college football, Durkin was named the 36th head football coach in Maryland history on December 2, 2015. He quickly changed the culture and brought instant energy to the program.

Durkin improved the results on the field as well. The Terps started the 2016 season 4-0 and won five of their first seven games, including a victory over Michigan State. After falling in three straight games to nationally-ranked teams, including a pair of matchups against Top 5 squads, Maryland defeated Rutgers, 31-13, in its season finale to garner bowl eligibility.

Durkin guided Maryland to its 27th bowl game all-time when the Terps faced off against Boston College in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl, which was played at Ford Field in Detroit.

After making great strides in 2016, Maryland started off Durkin's second season with a bang. The Terps traveled to No. 23 Texas and defeated the Longhorns, 51-41, in the 2017 season opener. It marked the first victory for Maryland over a ranked foe in seven years. The 51 points scored was the most for a Terps team against a ranked opponent in the history of the program. 

An exciting 2-0 start to the year was quickly overshadowed by season-ending injuries to the top two quarterbacks on the roster. While playing statistically the nation's toughest schedule, the Terps ended the year 4-8 with wins over Texas, Towson, Minnesota and Indiana. 

Durkin has showed his recruiting prowess by signing a consensus Top 20 class in 2017 and a consensus Top 30 class in 2018. Over the past two years, Durkin has signed 17 4-star student-athletes and eight members of the ESPN300. Durkin has also been able to keep the local DMV talent home, inking 16 Top 20 players from the state of Maryland and five Top 10 players from Washington D.C. over the last two years. 

Prior to arriving in College Park, Durkin served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of Michigan, leading a nationally-renowned defensive unit that ranked fourth in the country. Under Durkin, the Wolverines limited opponents to 17.2 points per game in 2015, in addition to shutting out three consecutive opponents – the longest such streak at Michigan in 35 years.

Durkin was an outstanding recruiter in his time as an assistant. While at the University of Florida, Durkin helped land four straight top-11 recruiting classes and was named’s 2012 Recruiter of the Year as a result. In total, Durkin contributed to the impressive recruitment of nine five-star prospects on the defensive side of the ball during that stretch.

Durkin’s immediate impact in Ann Arbor was also displayed in player development. Michigan had nine defensive All-Big Ten honorees, including a pair of first team defensive backs: Jourdan Lewis and Jabril Peppers. In addition, three Wolverines (Ryan Glasgow, Lewis and Peppers,) were named semifinalists for national defensive awards in 2015. 

As the defensive coordinator at Florida from 2013-14, Durkin led the Gators to consecutive top-15 rankings in total defense with the 15th-best mark in the country in 2014 (329.0 ypg) and the eighth-best (314.2 ypg) in 2013.

Florida’s 2014 team finished the year ranked in the top-10 in the nation in yards allowed per play (4.45), yards allowed per rush attempt (3.16) and yards allowed per pass attempt (5.9).

The group was highlighted by All-SEC first team selections Dante Fowler Jr., and defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, along with second-team all-conference honoree Antonio Morrison. Fowler was subsequently selected third overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. His selection continued a stretch in which Gator defensive players were selected in the first round of three consecutive drafts.

In Durkin’s first season as defensive coordinator, Florida finished first in the SEC and seventh in the country in pass defense (171.8 yards per game), sixth in first downs allowed (16.1 per game) and 15th in scoring defense (21.1 points per game), while allowing only 27 touchdowns, the sixth fewest in the nation in 2013.

Durkin’s coaching paid dividends at the next level when defensive tackle Dominique Easley was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

From 2010-2012, Durkin served as special team coordinator and linebackers coach at Florida and coached under current Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Once again, Durkin was a key contributor of a staff that helped produce an NFL first round pick when defensive tackle Shariff Floyd was taken in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

As linebackers coach, Durkin tutored Jon Bostic, who finished his career as a second-team All-SEC selection and was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears in 2013.

Durkin’s coaching on special teams helped produce punter Chas Henry, the winner of the Ray Guy Award in 2011, and kicker Caleb Sturgis, a two-time finalist for the Lou Groza Award who now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Under Durkin's tutelage, Stanford's defensive ends helped the Cardinal rank 11th nationally in sacks per game in 2007 and 2009.

At Stanford, Durkin helped the Cardinal bring in their highest ranked recruiting class in eight years in 2009.

As a graduate assistant at Notre Dame from 2003-04, Durkin worked primarily with defensive ends and helped develop Notre Dame all-time sack leader, All-Pro NFL defensive end and two-time Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck.

As a player, Durkin starred at Bowling Green as a starter at defensive end and outside linebacker from 1997-2000. He led the team in sacks in 1998 and served as a team captain for two seasons. Durkin was honored with numerous team awards including the Ken Schoeni Award for character and toughness, the Carlos Jackson Award personifying the values of a student-athlete and the Leadership Award.

Durkin played under Gary Blackney at Bowling Green. Blackney was Maryland’s defensive coordinator from 2001-05.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Bowling Green in 2001 and his master’s degree in educational administration and supervision in 2004.

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Durkin and his wife Sarah have one daughter, Abigail, and one son, Luke.

Durkin's Coaching Experience
Head Coach
Defensive Coord./LBs
Defensive Coord./LBs
Special Teams Coord./LBs
Special Teams Coord./DEs
Special Teams Coord./LBs
Bowling Green
Defensive Ends
Bowling Green
Graduate Assistant
Notre Dame
Graduate Assistant
Bowling Green

The durkin file
Full Name: Daniel John “DJ” Durkin
Birthdate: January 15, 1978
Wife: Sarah
Children: Abigail, Luke
Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio
High School: Boardman
College: Bowling Green, 2001 (B.A., Business Marketing)
Graduate Degree: Bowling Green, 2004 (M.A., Educational Administration and Supervision)