David Banks, USA TODAY

Jim Harbaugh 'not looking forward' to facing former assistant coach D.J. Durkin

During Big Ten Media Days, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh shared his thoughts on former Wolverines defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin and facing him at Maryland this season.

Despite his stay in Ann Arbor being brief, D.J. Durkin and Jim Harbaugh's relationship spans many years.

After his one season stop as defensive coordinator, Durkin is now the head coach at Maryland, in the same division as his former boss and will have to come back to Michigan to play against his former team.

The prospect of coaching against his former pupil doesn't exactly excite Harbaugh.

"Not looking forward to it," Harbaugh said. "I know D.J. Durkin will have his team prepared and playing with the hair on fire, it's one of my favorite phrases D.J. uses. It'll happen, it'll be a football fight. I wish I could say I was looking forward to it, but I'm not... Getting together with him again, he is somebody that pours his heart and soul into the team being good and I have the utmost respect for him."

From day one, Harbaugh knew that Durkin would be special in the coaching ranks. From his fast rise to graduate assistant under Urban Meyer to now coaching against the best head coaches the conference has to offer at Maryland, Harbaugh believes Durkin was one of the better coaches he had on his Stanford staff.

"Really kind of the day I first talked to him on the phone," Harbaugh said. "At Stanford from day one, I realized he was a fabulous coach. Greg Mattison, who I knew well at the time when I was coaching at Stanford, said to hire D.J. and he will be the best coach on your staff. I hate comparing people but he was definitely one of the best, if not the best we had at the time at Stanford. Boy, there was a lot of good ones."

Of course, in typical Harbaugh fashion, he walked back his comments a little bit after because he simply doesn't like to compare. After mentioning current Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno in the group of top coaches he had, there's little doubt that Harbaugh still isn't looking forward to facing Durkin later this season.

Make no mistake, that's a game Harbaugh wants to win.


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