Auburn reportedly sets sights on new target for defensive coordinator opening
Auburn is reportedly targeting DJ Durkin for its vacant defensive coordinator role.
That’s per 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz, who notes that Durkin has been in the SEC as a defensive coordinator for the last 4 seasons. Durkin served in that role at Ole Miss from 2020-21 and at Texas A&M from 2022-23.
D.J. Durkin has emerged as a target for Auburn for its defensive coordinator opening, sources tell @247Sports.
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) January 21, 2024
Durkin would replace Ron Roberts, who has moved on to Florida after serving as Auburn’s defensive coordinator in 2023. The Tigers’ defense ranked 10th in the SEC last season with 5.65 yards per play allowed.
Durkin’s Texas A&M defense was much more effective last season. The Aggies ranked 5th in the SEC in yards per play allowed during the 2023 campaign. Texas A&M was especially good against the run, allowing just 3.36 yards per rush (3rd-best in the SEC).
Hiring Durkin would not come without some controversy, however. Durkin was removed as Maryland’s head coach midway through the 2018 season following reports of a “toxic” team culture. Durkin’s Maryland program came under scrutiny after a player, Jordan McNair, died of heatstroke after an offseason workout in the summer of 2018. Durkin had been on administrative leave since August of that year.
Auburn will be entering Year 2 of the Hugh Freeze era next season. The Tigers will be hoping to take a big step forward after going 6-7 in 2023.