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Interim head coach Matt Canada wrote that the team "will continue to honor Jordan [McNair]."

By Emily Caron and Jenna West
October 31, 2018

Maryland interim coach Matt Canada sent a letter to players and their families one day after the university fired head coach DJ Durkin.

Canada wrote that the coaching staff is "extrememly proud" of how the team has "persevered and come together through significant adversity" and met with the players Thursday morning.

"Our pledge to them, and to you, is to continue to do exactly what we have been doing these past twelve weeks," Canada said. "We will stick together. We will lean on each other. We will continue to honor Jordan."

Offensive lineman Jordan McNair died on June 13, two weeks after collapsing from a heatstroke at a team workout. McNair's passing sparked a deeper look into the program after a report of a culture of intimidation, fear, and abuse surfaced. The university placed Durkin on administrative leave on Aug. 11 and opened an investigation into his football program.

Despite finding that the program had "several failures," the board of regents still recommended to reinstate Durkin Tuesday, which the univesity accepted. Public backlash was widespread, leading Maryland to fire Durkin Wednesday night.

After university president Wallace D. Loh announced the move in a statement, several Maryland players responded to the news on social media.

Offensive lineman Ellis McKennie, who was also a former high school teammate of McNair’s, was one of the first Terps players to speak out as the news broke.

Offensive lineman Johnny Jordan spoke to members of the media Wednesday night.

"I definitely did want justice for Jordan," he said. "I think that the right decision was made for justice for Jordan and for everything to be easier for us as players."

McKennie voiced his disappointment earlier this week when the board announced their recommendation, as did several of his Terps teammates. The junior lineman was also one of three members of the Maryland football team to reportedly walk out of the team meeting Tuesday after learning that head coach DJ Durkin would be returning.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada will remain as interim head coach until the university replaces Durkin.

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