ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Harbaugh coaching tree continues to sprout, and one of its many branches will will return to Ann Arbor on Saturday.
When No. 3 Michigan hosts Maryland at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Michigan Stadium, it will be the first meeting between Jim Harbaugh and D.J. Durkin as head coaches.
Harbaugh is in his second season of coaching at Michigan, while Durkin is in his first season as head coach at Maryland. The Terrapins are 5-3 and one win away from earning bowl eligibility.
Durkin was Michigan’s defensive coordinator in 2015, and coached with Harbaugh at Stanford as the Cardinal’s special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach from 2007 to 2009. Durkin also worked with Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison at Notre Dame from 2003 to 2004 as a graduate assistant with the Irish.
Durkin has another Big Ten tie. He also worked with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer at Bowling Green from 2001 to 2002 as a graduate assistant with the Falcons.
“He’s done a fabulous job,” Harbaugh said Monday. “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.”