University of Maryland’s head football coach D.J. Durkin has been fired after he was reinstated just two days ago on Tuesday, ESPN reported.
President Wallace D. Loh announced Durkin’s departure in a statement issued Wednesday night after meeting with several groups and finding the majority of stakeholders “expressed serious concerns about Coach D.J. Durkin returning to the campus.” Durkin had been on administrative leave since August 11 following the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair on June 13. McNair suffered from heatstroke during a workout on May 29.
“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,” Loh said.
As reported on Tuesday by the Inquisitr, Durkin, as well as Athletic Director Damon Evans, were reinstated on October 30 following the conclusion of the second of two investigations being conducted–one on McNair’s death and the second on the culture of the Terrapin’s football team.
Durkin and Evans met with the team that night to inform them of their reinstatement, prompting several players, including starters, to walk out.
“Every Saturday my teammates and I have to kneel before the memorial of our fallen teammate,” Maryland offensive lineman Ellis McKinnie tweeted on Tuesday about Durkin’s return to his coaching position. “Yet a group of people do not have the courage to hold anyone accountable for his death. If only they could have the courage that Jordan had. It’s never the wrong time to do what’s right.
A Maryland player told ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren that Evans informed the team of Durkin’s firing in a meeting on Wednesday and that the announcement was met without questions from the players.
President Loh announced today that the best interest of #UMD is to terminate the contract of Coach Durkin. From President Loh: “This is a difficult decision, but it is the right one for our entire University” https://t.co/rzNzcLuvcj pic.twitter.com/ppMpJJxwn2
— Univ. of Maryland (@UofMaryland) October 31, 2018
Yesterday’s announcement regarding Durkin’s firing was overwhelmingly supported after the decision to reinstate him was “met with outrage and protests” by many.
ITS NEVER THE WRONG TIME TO DO WHATS RIGHT!
— Ellis McKennie (@emck_cubed97) October 31, 2018
Congressman Anthony Brown, who hours before yesterday’s announcement expressed his dissatisfaction with the coach’s reinstatement, said on his Twitter that the university’s decision to part ways with Durkin was “the right decision and the decision that had to be made if the UMD community was going to ever move forward.”
“President Loh was the only leader who had the moral fortitude to accept responsibility for Jordan McNair’s death, and I believe he will continue to act boldly and guide the Athletic Department to a safer, more sustainable future that students, student-athletes, and the University of Maryland family can be proud of,” he continued.
Jordan McNair’s life matters. https://t.co/rp8c5Qn2eD
— Anthony G. Brown (@RepAnthonyBrown) November 1, 2018
The Terrapins will face Michigan State this weekend at home under the now-continued interim-coaching of Matt Canada.