D.J. Durkin will not coach for Michigan in bowl
Former Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, formally introduced Thursday morning as Maryland's head coach, will not coach in Michigan's upcoming bowl game.
It has unclear who will be Michigan's defensive coordinator for the bowl game, which will be revealed Sunday.
"I said to the players earlier today when we had a team meeting, I am an all-in type of guy," Durkin said at the news conference. "If I'm here, I'm here, so I think splitting between would have been hard for me to do."
Durkin several times thanked Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and interim athletic director Jim Hackett.
"I can't tell you enough how supportive Jim and his staff and Jim Hackett they've all been throughout this entire process," Durkin, 37, said. "Everyone knows him as a great coach, and he is, he's an even better person. I'm very fortunate for the time I've spent with him."
After he said he would not coach in the bowl, Durkin again praised Harbaugh.
"Again, I can't say enough about the support that the University of Michigan, Jim Hackett and everyone have had for me to allow me to go do that," Durkin said. "And also the players at Michigan. Those guys really bought in and did a heck of a job this year. I'm going to miss those guys and know they'll do a great job in the game."
Durkin had Michigan's defense ranked among the nation's top three in most categories for much of the season, but finished the season ranked fourth in total defense (281.3 yards per game), 19th in rush defense (122.6) and 11th in scoring defense (17.2). Michigan had three straight shutouts in the first half of the season, including a 28-0 victory at Maryland in the Big Ten opener.
Durkin said at the news conference there was no extra motivation to take the Maryland job to coach against Harbaugh and Meyer.
“I know those guys very well, they’re very important to me and my family,” Durkin said. “Healthy competition is good. It’s kind of like, you want to beat up on your brother sometimes, but if anyone else does, you’ve got a problem with it. No, there wasn’t any extra motivation or anything that way, but the way this conference, and in particular this division, has shaped up, it’s the top of the country.
"And so you have an opportunity to recruit the best of the country, I believe, because the best of the best want to play in the best, so that’s where we are. We’re going to take our swings and fight our battles and keep plugging away and win more and more.”