- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Maryland coach D.J. Durkin may be entering his first year, but he’s going to have plenty of experience next to him on the sidelines.

On Wednesday, Durkin announced the hiring of four assistant coaches, including former Virginia coach Mike London and former Syracuse coach Scott Shafer. London will serve as associate head coach/defensive line coach while Shafer will be the defensive coordinator.

Durkin also announced the hiring of Washington native Aazaar Abdul-Rahim to be defensive backs coach and Rick Court to be strength and conditioning coach.
London had been the coach at Virginia for the past six seasons before being let go last week. He had four top-35 recruiting classes with the Cavaliers and two Virginia-bred five-star recruits in 2014.

His best season with the Cavaliers was in 2011, when he went 8-5 and was named ACC coach of the year. Prior to the Cavaliers, London coached for two seasons at Richmond, where he recorded 24 wins and led the Spiders to a Championship Subdivision title in his first season. He was Virginia’s defensive coordinator before going to Richmond and has served as an assistant coach with the Houston Texans, Virginia, Boston College and William & Mary.

Shafer, who was fired by Syracuse two weeks ago, went 14-23 in three seasons with the Orange. In his first season at Syracuse in 2013, Shafer led the Orange to a 7-6 record and a Texas Bowl victory, but he followed with a 3-9 season in 2014 before the Orange went 4-8 this past season, including an eight-game losing streak before finishing with a 20-17 win over Boston College. Shafer was Syracuse’s defensive coordinator for five seasons before his promotion and has defensive coaching experience at his prior six schools.

Shafer and Durkin worked together under Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford in 2007 when Shafer was the team’s defensive coordinator and Durkin was the team’s defensive line coach.

“I’m thrilled to announce four high quality additions to the coaching staff,” Durkin said in a statement announcing the moves. “We’re adding a pair of coaches with head coaching experience and a group of guys with track records of being great teachers and recruiters. Their overall body of work speaks for itself as experienced leaders that have a tremendous knowledge of the game.”

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