Michigan has officially confirmed the hire of the first assistant coach to join Jim Harbaugh’s staff in Ann Arbor.
Former Florida defensive coordinator and linebacker’s coach D.J. Durkin will command the same posts for the Wolverines, announced via the school Thursday and confirmed by Harbaugh on the Rich Eisen Show shortly after.
"D.J. is one of the top young defensive coordinators in football, and I look forward to having him work with our student-athletes," Harbaugh said in a statement released via the school’s athletic website. “He will make an excellent addition to our staff."
Durkin spent the last five years in Gainesville, in charge of the Gators defense in 2013 and 2014, even filling in as interim head coach following the fire of former Florida coach Will Muschamp.
Durkin’s defense ended 2014 15th in the nation in total defense giving up 329.8 yards per game, also eighth in the country in 2013 allowing 314.2 yards per contest, good for second in the SEC.
A Youngstown, Ohio native, Durkin first crossed paths with Harbaugh as the defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator at Stanford from 2007-09.
"Reuniting with Jim at the University of Michigan is an opportunity that I could not pass up," Durkin said in a statement also released via the school’s athletic website. "We had some great times working together at Stanford, and I look forward to producing great results at Michigan.
“I look forward to coaching in the Big Ten after growing up in that footprint. I am excited to return to the Midwest and recruit and teach some of the best and brightest young men in the country."
Appearing on the Rich Eisen Show early Thursday afternoon, Harbaugh was asked about his search for other assistants to add to Michigan’s staff.
“Its coming together great,” Harbaugh said. “I’m really excited about our coaching staff and I think you’ll be impressed, Rich."