Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin is reportedly heading to Maryland to be their new head coach, where he will replace interim coach Mike Locksley, who replaced Randy Edsall.
Here are some potential replacements for Durkin at Michigan, listed in order of likelihood:
Previously: Syracuse head coach (2013-2015)
Pros: Worked with Jim Harbaugh as Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator at Stanford in 2007. Familiar with the tradition and atmosphere at Michigan after working under Rich Rodriguez at Michigan in 2008; also spent two years as Western Michigan defensive coordinator. Twelve years of experience as a defensive coordinator. Head coach experience. Consistently had solid defenses as defensive coordinator for struggling Syracuse program. Available immediately.
Cons: Had bad experience at Michigan when forced to run Rich Rodriguez’s 3-3-5 defense in 2008. If things go poorly early, fans will not forget 2008. Has never fielded elite defenses. No experience coaching linebackers or defensive line, which would be the potential openings. Mostly a 4-3 guy, a departure from Michigan’s current unit.
Hit the jump for more potential defensive coordinators.
Currently: Stanford defensive coordinator (2014-2015)
Pros: Worked with Jim Harbaugh as defensive line coach and linebackers coach at San Diego and Stanford. Two seasons of defensive coordinator experience at Stanford. Stanford was #7 in DFEI in 2014. Part of winning programs at San Diego and Stanford. West coast connections for recruiting in an area full of talent. Experience as recruiting coordinator. Experience with 3-4 defenses, which would mitigate transition.
Cons: Would presumably need to finish out college season for Stanford. Limited experience as defensive coordinator. Mostly a west coast guy except for coaching a few seasons at Bucknell (in Pennsylvania). Reportedly turned down Michigan’s overtures last off-season.
DON “WINK” MARTINDALE
Currently: Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach (2012-2015)
Pros: Worked with Jim Harbaugh and Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky in early 2000s. Worked with John Harbaugh for Baltimore Ravens from 2012-2015. Two seasons of defensive coordinator experience (Western Kentucky, Denver Broncos). Extensive linebacker coaching experience. Won a Super Bowl with Baltimore and an FCS national championship with Western Kentucky. Played high school ball at Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison, so presumably could develop Ohio connections for recruiting. Experience with 3-4 defenses, which would mitigate transition.
Cons: Limited defensive coordinator experience. Has not coached college football or recruited since 2003. Would need to finish out the NFL season.
Currently: Michigan defensive line coach (2015)
Pros: Worked with Jim Harbaugh as Harbaugh’s defensive line coach in 2014. Familiar with the tradition and atmosphere at Michigan after working under Lloyd Carr, Brady Hoke, and Jim Harbaugh. Sixteen years of experience as defensive coordinator, including three in NFL. Coached NFL stars Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs, among others. Consistently had good defenses in NFL and college. Good recruiter. Ability to coach defensive line or linebackers. Experience with 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. Available immediately.
Cons: Old. Likely to retire in not-too-distant future. Demoted by Harbaugh from defensive coordinator to defensive line coach. Has reputation for defenses wearing out late in the game.
Currently: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator (2015)
Pros: Seventeen years of experience as defensive coordinator, including sixteen in the NFL. Familiar with Jim Harbaugh after being his defensive coordinator at Stanford in 2010 and with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2014. Grew up in Pennsylvania and could presumably establish connections in Big Ten country. Fielded good-to-great defenses overall at San Francisco. NFL coaching experience could be good recruiting tool.
Cons: Only one year of college football experience. Has not coached in college or recruited since 2010. Salary may be exorbitant. Reportedly turned down Harbaugh’s overtures last off-season.
Currently: Marshall defensive coordinator (2013-2015)
Pros: Played at Michigan and was 2nd Team All-Big Ten running back. Familiar with the tradition and atmosphere at Michigan after playing and coaching under Bo Schembechler. Seven years of experience as defensive coordinator. Won two national championships with Florida. Marshall has been #23 and #26 in FEI the past two seasons.
Cons: Old. Likely to retire in not-too-distant future. Experience is in coaching defensive backs. Would presumably need to finish college season with Marshall. Not familiar with Harbaugh. Not a splash hire.
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