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Maryland bringing back DJ Durkin and Damon Evans, with Wallace Loh retiring in June

The Board of Regents held a press conference at 3:30, confirming the big decisions already made.

maryland football spring game practice Alexander Jonesi

This story has been updated to reflect reports of Durkin and Evans’ reinstatements and Loh’s impending retirement, and then the press conference that confirmed them.

Ahead of a 3:30 p.m. University System of Maryland Board of Regents press conference in Baltimore, The Washington Post reported Tuesday the Board was “expected” to recommend that head football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans remain in their positions. InsideMdSports’ Jeff Ermann then reported Durkin will be back at practice this week and will be on the sideline when Maryland plays Michigan State. The Post’s Rick Maese then reported Durkin and Evans had been retained, and that university president Wallace Loh was planning to retire in June.

At the press conference, these reports were all confirmed. Loh announced that 2018-19 would be his last academic year at Maryland, and both he and Board of Regents chairman James Brady praised Evans as the right person for the AD position. Brady called Durkin “a good man and a good coach,” while Loh—who reportedly wanted to move on from Durkin but was pressured by the Board not to—avoided mentioning the head coach by name.

The Post’s initial report said the job status for Durkin and Evans “could still be up in the air,” and that the Board of Regents was not expected to take any action on Loh, despite “internal debate.” It also said that Tuesday’s press conference was expected to focus more on proposed reforms the school should take (these would be recommendations for Loh rather than instructions). The release by the Board announcing the presser was rather ambiguous:

During the media availability, the results of the independent commission investigation into the culture of the football program at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) will be discussed.

This press conference came five days after the findings from the eight-person investigative commission digging into Maryland football were released. Those findings outlined what investigators called a culture “where problems festered because too many players feared speaking out.” Investigators declined to call this culture “toxic” because they decided their findings did not match that of a culture that is ”extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful,” the definition of toxic in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary.

Investigators did find what they decided was evidence of a team culture that allowed strength coach Rick Court to operate without oversight and engage in behavior the commission believed was over the line, including a sometimes-abusive and humiliating approach to attempt to motivate athletes.

Investigators also outlined an athletic department that Cynthia Edmunds, university ombudsman and assistant to Loh, described as “chaos and confusion,” with former AD Kevin Anderson and current AD Evans consistently butting heads.