Maryland's hire of Durkin gets 'B' grade

The Detroit News
D.J. Durkin

Maryland's hire of former Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as head coach merited a grade of B, according to USA Today.

Dan Wolken, USA Today college football writer, graded the offseason hires and says Maryland's search was a "scattershot mess."

"Pretty much everyone in the industry who has met Durkin, 37, is impressed with him," Wolken says. "Maryland might have lucked into a really good hire. But the coaching search was a scattershot mess, and surely Maryland fans didn't envision firing Randy Edsall and ending up with Michigan's defensive coordinator.

"Maryland is a classic example of a school that didn't have a realistic view of itself going into the process. No amount of Under Armour founder Kevin Plank's money was going to convince a high-profile coach to come to the same division Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, Mark Dantonio and James Franklin."

Despite the B grade, Durkin's defense in his one year at Michigan was a Grade-A success. The Wolverines were fourth in total offense (281.3 yards), third in passing (158.8 yards), 11th in scoring (17.2) and 18th in rushing (122.6 yards).

Here are the grades for the other hires Wolken evaluated:

A-plus: Virginia Tech (Justin Fuente).

A: Miami (Mark Richt), Iowa State (Matt Campbell).

B-plus: Virginia (Bronco Mendenhall), Syracuse (Dino Babers), Tulane (Willie Fritz), Memphis (Mike Norvell).

B: Maryland (D.J. Durkin), Missouri (Barry Odom), Central Florida (Scott Frost).

B-minus: Georgia (Kirby Smart), USC (Clay Helton), Rutgers (Chris Ash), Minnesota (Tracy Claeys), East Carolina (Scottie Montgomery).

C: South Carolina (Will Muschamp), BYU (Kalani Sitake).

F: Illinois (Bill Cubit).