"I want to recruit guys that embrace that competition. So, to me, it's an easy sell," said Maryland's new football coach DJ Durkin when asked about recruiting. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
COLLEGE PARK — New Maryland football coach DJ Durkin won't coach Michigan in its bowl game.
Durkin served as Wolverines defensive coordinator on coach Jim Harbaugh's staff this season. Michigan finished the regular season 9-3 and is ranked No. 15 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Yahoo! Sports, USA Today and ESPN.com project the Wolverines will play in the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day.
"I will not be coaching the bowl game at Michigan," Durkin said in his introductory news conference Thursday. "I said to the players earlier today when we had a team meeting, we're all getting to know each other here in this room. I am an all-in type of guy, and to me, if I'm here, I'm here. I think splitting between would have been really hard for me to do."
Last season, current Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi served as Michigan State's defensive coordinator in the Cotton Bowl, and current Houston coach Tom Herman served as Ohio State's offensive coordinator through the Buckeyes' national championship run.
Durkin also used the question as an opportunity to thank Harbaugh, Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett and the rest of the Wolverines for their help while he was interviewing for the Maryland job.
"I can't say enough about the support that University of Michigan, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Hackett, everyone has had for me to allow me to go do that, and also the players at Michigan," Durkin said. "Those guys are phenomenal. They 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."