The top-ranked Alabama football program is currently preparing for a meeting with the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners when the College Football Playoff national semifinals kickoff on Saturday, December 29. The two teams are facing off in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. There is an interesting note regarding the Crimson Tide’s preparation, however.
According to reports, ex-Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin, who was fired following the death of one of his players, is helping Nick Saban’s squad prepare behind-the-scenes.
In his first foray back into football since his October firing, Durkin has been helping Alabama this past week in a consultant-like capacity, sources told AL.com. It’s unclear at this point if Durkin could have a long-term role on Nick Saban’s Alabama staff though, according to sources.
Durkin has been under the radar for the most part since his firing, so it is a bit of a surprise to see him resurface in connection to a national championship contender.
However, Saban has been known for giving recently fired head coaches an opportunity to bounce back on his staff. In fact, Alabama offensive analyst Butch Jones, who was the head coach at Cincinnati and Tennessee, recently parlayed that gig in Tuscaloosa to an offensive coordinator job at Durkin’s ex-school.
Kickoff between the Crimson Tide and Sooners is set for 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.