The Maryland board of regents recommended that Durkin stay to university president Wallace D. Loh, who announced his intention to retire after the school year.
Maryland's board of regents recommended Tuesday that DJ Durkin remain as head coach after being on administrative leave since Aug. 11.
The board also recommended for athletic director Damon Evans to retain his job.
University president Wallace D. Loh announced that he is retiring in June after the end of the 2018-19 school year.
The Maryland board of regents reportedly recommended the reinstatement of Durkin and retaining of Evans. The decision ultimately rested with Loh, but The Washington Post reports that Loh was "strongly urged" to follow the recommendation and that a source said it was made clear to Loh that he had no other option if he wanted to avoid being fired immediately.
On Friday, the regents had face-to-face discussions with Durkin, Evans and Loh at a meeting in Baltimore but was not able to come to a consensus at the time. Several of the board members were "impressed" with Durkin at the meeting, and "many were persuaded that he deserved to remain in his post." Loh tried to explain at the meeting why he thought the school "needed to move on from Durkin," reports the Post.
"It was made clear that if he wanted to remain in his position, he had no option,” a source told the Post. “He ultimately felt it would’ve been tremendously disruptive to the entire campus if he was to be terminated simple because he wouldn’t put the coach back on the field."
The news comes after the system’s board of regents has been debating Durkin, Evans and Loh's job status internally for 1½ weeks. The unversity first placed Durkin on leave on Aug. 11 after ESPN released an explosive in-depth report detailing a "toxic" culture within the Terrapins football program.
On Sept. 21, an independent investigation found Maryland culpable in the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, 19, who died of a heatstroke in June after collapsing at an offseason team workout. He had difficulty standing up and breathing while running sprints at a May workout. McNair died two weeks later on June 13.
On Aug. 14, Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans announced that they had apologized to McNair’s parents and that "the university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May 29." Loh said the training staff “misdiagnosed” McNair’s situation, and Evans revealed that McNair did not have his temperature taken, nor was he given cold water immersion to lower his body temperature.
Loh added that he was establishing an independent four-person investigation into the allegations, which the Maryland board of regents eventually assumed control of. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the external report, which allegedly found several failures within the football program but determined it was not a "toxic culture."
In two seasons at Maryland, Durkin went 11–15, reaching the Quick Lane Bowl in 2016. Prior to taking the Maryland job, Durkin, 40, was the defensive coordinator at Michigan.