COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland head basketball coach Mark Turgeon was sitting front row on Thursday afternoon at Gossett Team House in College Park as athletic director Kevin Anderson introduced D.J. Durkin as the university’s new head football coach.
Almost five years ago Turgeon was in the same situation, being introduced as the university’s basketball coach. In the time since, he has built his team up to national prominence. Now Durkin hopes to do the same with the football program.
He has Turgeon's support.
“I was impressed. I think he’s what we need. I like his energy,” Turgeon said later that day in a meeting with the media in advance of his team’s game Friday vs. St. Francis.
“We need football to be good -- not to put pressure on him -- but it would help a lot of areas and I think we can work off each other. We’re going to have great home crowds this year. He can bring recruits in here and help them be successful and if they get it rolling, that helps us when we bring recruits in town. Whatever we can do to help.”
Durkin comes to Maryland with a strong coaching pedigree, having coached under Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh at Bowling Green, Stanford, Florida, and Michigan before taking the head coaching job at Maryland.
Turgeon has worked and played alongside industry giants as well, including being at Kansas under Larry Brown -- a staff that also included Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford and later Roy Williams.
Now, Turgeon is ready to help.
“We kind of understand what each other is going through, the two money maker sports and the pressure that’s on each other and hopefully I can help him,” Turgeon said. “He’s had a lot of great mentors. He doesn’t need my help, but I can help him navigate a few things as he gets used to Maryland.”