ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is rooting for D.J. Durkin. Except for when he faces Durkin and the Maryland Terrapins this weekend.
Durkin is in his first year as coach of the Maryland football team, less than a year after having served as Michigan’s defensive coordinator under Harbaugh in 2015.
No. 2 Michigan (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten Conference) hosts Maryland (5-3, 2-3) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
“You want to see your friends have success,” Harbaugh said. “It’ll be good. He definitely has been. Every job he’s had, he goes all out (and) does things at a very high level, a lot of enthusiasm. A kindred spirit.”
Durkin worked on Harbaugh’s staff at Stanford from 2007 to 2009 as the Cardinal’s special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach, and he is one of the nation’s top young coaches. He’s led Maryland to a renaissance of sorts: the Terps are one win away from bowl eligibility.
“He’s done a fabulous job,” Harbaugh said. “I always respected D.J. as a tremendous competitor, at the highest level. Smiling, thinking about his competitiveness. Also, always happy for a friend’s success.. He’s doing a fabulous job, him and his team. You see the energy, you see the strength, you see the competitiveness, the execution on the field.
“The flip side of that: we know this will be a big game. This will be a real test for our club.”