Roughly six weeks after being fired by Maryland, D.J. Durkin has reemerged at Alabama, according to a report from AL.com.
The news outlet reported Thursday morning that Durkin is working in a “consultant-like capacity” ahead of the Crimson Tide’s meeting with Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, adding that it is “unclear at this point” whether he will eventually join the staff in a full-time role.
Alabama coach Nick Saban has had a tendency of bringing in well-known fired head coaches in recent years, often in unofficial or behind-the-scenes roles. Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones, for example, worked as an analyst at Alabama this season, while Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both wound up at Alabama after they were fired by USC.
Durkin, who was hired as Maryland’s head coach in 2015, drew scrutiny after one of his players, offensive lineman Jordan McNair, suffered heat illness during an offseason workout and died two weeks afterward. Media reports a few months later characterized the culture within the program as “toxic,” leading strength and conditioning coach Rick Court to resign while Durkin was placed on administrative leave.
The university subsequently commissioned investigations into both McNair’s death and the football program’s culture, then attempted to reinstate Durkin at the conclusion of the second investigation in October. Amid public backlash to the decision, university president Wallace Loh fired Durkin and the chairman of the board, James Brady, resigned.
Maryland hired former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as its new head coach last week.
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.