DJ Durkin will hire Arkansas State offensive coordinator Walt Bell to the same position at Maryland, the program announced on Sunday morning. Fox Sports's Bruce Feldman first reported the news on Saturday.
Bell, 31, reportedly turned down the head coaching job at Louisiana Monroe earlier in the offseason. Had he accepted, he would have become the youngest head coach in FBS. This was Bell's second season as the offensive coordinator, assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Red Wolves.
Bell has spent his coaching career under the wing of Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson, including time at Arkansas State, Southern Mississippi and North Carolina.
"Walt is one of the brightest offensive minds in college football and I'm excited to have him on my staff," Durkin said in a press release. "He has a track record of being part of some of the most potent offenses in college football and he's going to bring that exciting brand of football to Maryland."
He was the Tar Heels' recruiting coordinator two years ago, giving him a major player personnel role at a time when that program was building what became, this year, one of the best teams in the ACC and a fringe College Football Playoff contender. He spent time recruiting Virginia while with North Carolina.
Bell has coached high-flying offenses before. His team this year averaged 448 yards of offense per game, which was No. 36 nationally, and scored 41 points per game, which was No. 10.
The Red Wolves' offense ranked No. 70 in S&P+ this season and No. 53 last season, probably owed to a mediocre Sun Belt schedule. That stat is adjusted by opponent strength.
It was not immediately clear what Bell's hiring would mean for Mike Locksley, Maryland's former coordinator and interim head coach.