Former Maryland football head coach DJ Durkin has been helping Alabama football behind-the-scenes, according to AL.com’s Matt Zenitz.
Though Durkin’s role has not been explicitly described, Zenitz reports it is a “consultant-like” position and whether or not this is a long-term venture seems unclear.
Durkin had not been heard from since late October, when the University of Maryland System Board of Regents announced his reinstatement, but he was subsequently fired a day later amid outrage.
Maryland had placed Durkin on administrative leave on Aug. 11, as the University System’s Board of Regents took control of two investigations into the Maryland program. One was looking for the cause of Jordan McNair’s death, and the other dove into allegations of a toxic culture created by Durkin’s staff.
The reports tabbed the death of McNair as a failure by the training staff, and stopped short of calling Maryland’s culture under Durkin “toxic,” although it did detail “a culture in which problems festered because players feared speaking out.” University of Maryland president Wallace Loh released a statement on Durkin’s firing on Oct. 31:
“The chair of the Board of Regents has publicly acknowledged that I had previously raised serious concerns about Coach Durkin’s return. This is not at all a reflection of my opinion of Coach Durkin as a person. However, a departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways.”
Durkin’s replacement at Maryland, Mike Locksley, returns to Alabama this weekend as the No. 1 Crimson Tide begin preparations to play No. 4 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff.