Ole Miss hired DJ Durkin as an assistant coach.
Who is DJ Durkin?
He was the head coach at Maryland University where one of his players, Jordan McNair, suffered a heat stroke during practice and was airlifted to the hospital. He died two weeks later. Many argue who was at fault and how this happened. However, just as a head coach gets the majority of the blame for a team's success, the head coach gets majority of the blame for losing, bad PR from his players or coaches, and especially when their player dies from practicing. These truths are what eventually ended Durkin's tenure at Maryland.
After he was fired from Maryland, Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons hired him as an assistant coach. The Falcons never put up Durkin's bio on their coach web page. At the end of the NFL season last weekend, Durkin was job hunting. Who throws him a bone? Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss's newly minted HC, gives Durkin another chance at college coaching.
Coach Kiffin knows a lot about 2nd chances: After Al Davis kicked him out of the Raiders lockerroom, Tennessee hired him. He then ditched them for USC. They gave him the boot in SoCal and Nick Saban offered him a spot with Alabama. Then got another big break as a head coach at Florida Atlantic. He was the 5th coach in FAU's history and produced consecutive winning seasons. Coach Kiffin's career has been way up and way down. It is not that far out of the realm to believe Ole Miss hired Coach Kiffin to win football games, but it does come with some backlash. Now, the backlash is going to shift to Coach Durkin and why Ole Miss approved the hire.
It is interesting they waited until after the first signing day for high school recuits. The ABC's of college sports are Always Be 'Cruitin (recruiting). Ask yourself, would you let your son practice on a field where Coach Durkin had control? I am sure a lot of Ole Miss player mom's and dad's are having that conversation tonight. Again, Durkin was not found responsible for McNair's death, the blame was placed on the training staff at Maryland. Yet, It is another controversy on a long list at Ole Miss. By the way, they just finished a 2-year NCAA post-season ban. Go Rebs!