One of the more versatile members of the staff, John Donovan is in his 10th season at Maryland, including fourth as the running backs coach.
Donovan spent his first four years with the Terps as assistant recruiting coordinator before becoming running backs coach in 2005.
After spending the next two seasons (2006-07) overseeing the Terps' quarterbacks, Donovan returned to coaching the running backs in the spring of 2008.
That fall, the running back unit experienced quite a bit of success.
Da'Rel Scott had a breakout campaign, posting 1,133 rushing yards - the seventh highest single-season total in school history - en route to first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.
Davin Meggett also rushed for 430 yards, the most by a Terp true freshman in 11 years, and Cory Jackson, who started at fullback for three seasons (2007-09), had his usual steady season.
Last season, Scott missed five games with a broken arm and the running game never quite got untracked.
Donovan's running back unit returns intact this year with the exception of Jackson who has moved onto the NFL.
Meggett, Gary Douglas and D.J. Adams give Donovan quality depth at tailback. In his second year as QB coach, Donovan helped groom a new starting quarterback.
Jordan Steffy, who was the lone signal-caller on the squad to take snaps entering 2007, opened as the starter before getting injured and giving way to Chris Turner. Turner emerged as a viable option for the Terps, throwing for nearly 2,000 yards in eight starts, finishing third in the ACC in passing efficiency and helping the Terps knock off two Top 10 teams (Rutgers and BC).
Donovan's first season mentoring the signal-callers was one of the more successful in recent years, as he helped Sam Hollenbach complete his career among the school's passing leaders. Hollenbach ended his tenure fourth on the school's career passing yards list. He threw for 2,371 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2006 en route to All-ACC honors.
In his first season as running backs coach, Donovan's unit was lacking a returning starter and without the services of Josh Allen whose season had ended with a knee injury.
In the end, Donovan got strong performances from Mario Merrills and Keon Lattimore, and ultimately found a viable starter in Lance Ball, who ended up rushing for over 100 yards in four of the team's final seven games, earning second team All-ACC honors along the way.
Prior to taking over as running backs coach, Donovan's position in the recruiting department included maintaining and organizing the Terrapins' recruiting database, setting up all recruiting events (official and unofficial visits, game day visits, recruiting weekends, etc.) and serving as director of all Maryland football camps. In addition, he oversaw the group of graduate assistants employed by the team from 2001-04.
Donovan's current post is his first full-time coaching position at the Football Bowl Subdivision level (formerly Division I-A), but that is not to say he came to Maryland without experience.
Prior to coming to College Park, he served as an offensive graduate assistant at Georgia Tech for three years, working directly with then-offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen. In that time, he broke down all opponent game film, assisted with coaching quarterbacks (1998) and the offensive line (1999-2000) while helping Friedgen with game planning and practice preparation.
During his tenure, Tech won an ACC Championship (1998) and had the nation's leading offense (1999), averaging over 200 yards passing and rushing while setting 59 school records in the process.
Notably, Donovan's first job as a position coach at the Division I-A level - though temporary -- came when Friedgen departed at the end of the 2000 season to become the Terrapins' head coach. Bill O'Brien was elevated to serve as the team's offensive coordinator for the 2000 Peach Bowl in Friedgen's absence and Donovan was called upon to serve as the Yellow Jackets' running backs coach for the game.
Prior to his arrival in Atlanta, Donovan worked as an assistant secondary coach at Villanova, helping the Wildcats post a 12-1 record in 1997 and a No. 1 ranking (Division I-AA) in the season's final six weeks. His responsibilities with the Wildcats included coaching the team's safeties, coordinating scout teams for the offense and special teams and breaking down game film for the defense.
A 1997 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Donovan was a three-year starter for the Blue Jays. He was twice named an all-conference defensive back and recorded 12 career interceptions. While in school, he worked as a training camp intern for the Carolina Panthers. He later went on to earn his master's degree in economics from Georgia Tech.
A native of River Edge, N.J., Donovan married the former Stacey Spicer of Potomac, Md., in May, 2005. The couple has two young children, a son (John Patrick) and daughter (Cate).
The Donovan File
PersonalDate of Birth: September 11, 1974
Hometown: River Edge, N.J.
Alma Mater: Johns Hopkins University, '97
2008-pr.: Assistant Coach - Running Backs
2006-07: Assistant Coach - Quarterbacks
2005: Assistant Coach - Running Backs
2001-04: Assistant Recruiting Coordinator
1998-2001: Graduate Assistant - Offense
1997-98 Assistant Secondary Coach
Playing ExperienceJohns Hopkins University
Defensive back: 1993-96
Recruiting AreasMaryland (Cecil, Harford, Wicomico, Somerset and Worchester Counties), Delaware, South New Jersey and Ohio.