Maryland football coach D.J. Durkin has been very successful early in his tenure.
Durkin joined ESPN’s Championship Drive podcast to talk about the Terps. Below is a transcript of some of the questions from the interview along with Durkin’s responses.
What was the genesis in hiring three former head coaches and the general feel for your staff?
DD: “It was important for me to hire guys that shared the same beliefs and core values in coaching. There’s reasons that people are involved in the professions that they’re in and some are good and some are bad reasons. I wanted to make sure I surrounded our program with guys that were in it for the right reasons and wanted to build positive relationships with young men. I think that it worked out with having that many former head coaches. I wanted to make sure I hired guys that just weren’t just ‘yes sir’ guys. I like having different opinions on things and have had some experiences and aren’t afraid to speak up.”
What are the positives and negatives of being located in a fertile recruiting area like the DMV?
“Any time you’re in your own backyard, if you have consistent talent year in and year out, it’s a huge benefit and a huge advantage. If you look at schools around the country that have that advantage, it’s pretty easy to see how it helps. It was a huge factor for me in looking at this job. I think Maryland is a ‘sleeping giant.’ You have all these guys in our own backyard and you have to work like crazy to get them because everybody is coming to this area to take guys year in and year out. It’s our job to go put a product on the field that guys can be excited about and proud of. Once you get the ball rolling, you can cultivate and build that. I think we have the talent that can compete with anyone in the country.”
What lessons can you draw from Urban Meyer at Bowling Green?
“We can sit here and talk for hours about that. His success speaks for itself and it’s not by accident. He’s as good as there is. That was an invaluable experience and you didn’t even know at the time. It was daily. There’s things that I draw back on daily around here. What you do as a coach is take bits and pieces from each coach and see what fits with your own personality and way of doing things. There’s definitely elements of that in our program here.”
Has anything about Maryland surprised you?
“Every program has a formula of the way things work or need to be in order to be successful. A big part of coaching is figuring out the formula when you get there and it’s been enjoyable. There’s such pride in this area, not only in high school football but youth league football. There’s so many people that are involved in football in this area. It’s been enjoyable to meet the youth league and high school coaches. It’s really important that you get to know who is involved with these recruits at a younger age.”