D.J. Durkin might be relatively new to the role of head coach, but there will be plenty of head-coaching experience roaming the sidelines in College Park.
Durkin made some noise Wednesday, when the university announced he'd added former Virginia head coach Mike London and former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer to his staff. London will serve as the associate head coach and defensive line coach, while Schafer will serve as the defensive coordinator.
London spent the past six seasons running the show right down the road in Charlottesville, leading the Hoos to a 27-46 record and one bowl appearance. Prior to arriving at Virginia, London was extremely successful in two seasons as the head coach at FCS Richmond, leading the Spiders to a 24-5 record and a national-championship win in 2008.
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Shafer spent the past seven seasons at Syracuse, including the last three as head coach, leading the Orange to a 14-23 record and one bowl appearance. During the 2008 season, Shafer had the same job Durkin had last season, serving as Michigan's defensive coordinator. Shafer has a couple other Big Ten ties, having worked as the Illinois defensive backs coach in 2004 and having worked under current Illinois head coach and then-Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit as the Broncos' defensive coordinator in 2005 and 2006.
Speculation that Mike Locksley could remain on Durkin's staff intensified Tuesday night when a Maryland recruit tweeted a picture of himself with Durkin and Locksley during an in-home visit. Locksley served as the team's interim head coach following Randy Edsall's midseason dismissal. Locksley was Edsall's offensive coordinator with the Terps and has his own head-coaching experience, serving as the New Mexico head coach from 2009 to 2011. He was also a Maryland assistant from 1997 to 2002 and worked as an Illinois assistant from 2005 to 2008.
There's no telling how Durkin will fare in his first permanent head-coaching gig — he was Florida's interim head coach for last season's bowl game — but surrounding himself with guys who have done the job before can't hurt.