FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, file photo, Maryland head coach DJ Durkin stands on the sideline during an NCAA college football game against Towson in College Park, Md. The University System of Maryland's board of regents announced Tuesday their recommendation that Durkin retain his job. Durkin has been on paid administrative leave since August, following the death of a player who collapsed during practice and an investigation of bullying by the Maryland coaching staff. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Former Gators football coach DJ Durkin gets new job

On Wednesday, it was reported that Texas A&M is hiring Ole Miss defensive coordinator DJ Durkin, who coached at Florida from 2010-2014. Durkin will replace former defensive coordinator Mike Elko, who departed to become head coach at Duke.

DJ Durkin leaving Ole Miss for Texas A&M

Durkin spent the past two seasons overseeing Ole Miss’ defense after joining former head coach Lane Kiffin’s staff ahead of the 2020 season.

Meanwhile, Durkin helped lead the Rebels to a top-10 ranking as well as a Sugar Bowl appearance. Prior to that, Ole Miss was the worst defensive team in the SEC. The Rebels were allowing a league-worst 519 yards per game and 38.3 points per game.

Durkin would pull an impressive turnaround for the Rebels as the defense elevated Ole Miss to winning 10 regular season games for the first time in program history. The Rebels ranked eighth in the conference in scoring defense allowing an average of 24.7 points per game.

Durkin coaching at Florida

Durkin began his coaching career in 2001 when he joined Bowling Green new head coach Urban Meyer’s staff. He reunited with Meyer when he joined the Florida coaching staff in 2010 and remained on the staff when Will Muschamp took over as head coach.

Durkin started his career in Gainesville as a linebacker coach and special teams coordinator. In addition, he established a reputation as a strong national recruiter. As an assistant, Durkin helped the Gators land four straight top-recruiting classes. As a result, Rivals.com named Durkin the 2012 Recruiter of the Year.

Durkin was promoted to Florida’s defensive coordinator in 2013 to replace Dan Quinn. In 2013, the Gators ranked eighth in total defense, 15th in scoring defense and seventh in pass defense. After that, Florida would rank 15th in total defense and 20th in scoring defense in 2014.

In 2014, he was named Florida’s interim head coach for the Gators’ bowl game after Muschamp announced he would step down following the regular season. Durkin led Florida to a 28-20 victory over East Carolina in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl.

About Tori Edwards

Tori Edwards is a fourth-year Telecommunications student specializing in News with an outside concentration in Sport Management at the University of Florida. Tori works as an author and reporter for WRUF.com and is the voice of trendings on Wednesday mornings on ESPN 98.1 FM - 850 AM WRUF. You can reach Tori at victoriaedwards@ufl.edu.

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