COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland had to make an unusual mid-spring change, with defensive coordinator Scott Shafer stepping down and head coach DJ Durkin hiring longtime friend and Kentucky special teams coordinator Andy Buh to replace him.
Buh has now been on the job for about a week, enough time to create an initial impression with the players he now leads.
“It’s been good. He’s been great. It’s good to be back with them. He does a great job,” Durkin said after practice on Tuesday. “He’s a great technical teacher and so, I mean, he’s been great. He’s familiar with what we’re doing. He’s already made a difference stepping in and doing some things with us.”
Fortunately (or, rather, strategically planned) for Maryland, Buh brings the same defensive philosophy to College Park as Scott Shafer did. There is no scheme overhaul with the change, which makes the transition easier.
Instead, Durkin has always reiterated that he wants coaches on his staff who bring the same level of energy and intensity that he does. Judging by comments from players, he fits right in. Defensive lineman David Shaw called him “energetic” and a “good asset” to the team.
Rising junior Jesse Aniebonam took the deepest dive into what makes Buh -- Buh. It comes off as a measured, honest, veteran view of change at an unlikely time. It’s worth reading in full.
“My first impression of Coach Buh is just that he’s a guy that’s very critical. He’s a very critical coach and the way he coaches it’s very eccentric, I would say,” he said.
“He came in, he really didn’t give too much time to start the whole icebreaker thing. He just kind of, ‘I’m the coach, you’re the player. We’re going to have a good relationship but we have to get right to work.’ He was just a really headstrong, head-forward and just got us going right away. He gave a really intense impression, but I think it’s going to be a good season having him as a coach.”
But do the players take well to that style?
“Yeah,” he said. “Especially because we’re towards the end of and we just got a new coordinator, we need that kind of heads-forward type of vibe and that type of intensity that he brings in and I think the players have been responding to it well just because he just brings the same type of energy that the rest of the coaches bring and that’s just what we need as a team.”