March 19, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame head coach Tyrone Willingham announced today the hiring of D.J. Durkin and Chad Klunder as graduate assistants for the 2003 football season. Both Durkin and Klunder will begin work immediately.
Durkin will work on the defensive side of the ball, assisting with all aspects of the defense and working specifically with defensive line coach Greg Mattison. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Durkin comes to Notre Dame after serving as the defensive ends coach and a graduate assistant coach at Bowling Green State University the past two seasons. He worked specifically with the defensive ends and assisted with all aspects of special teams.
While at Bowling Green, the Falcons were 9-3 in 2002 and were ranked in the top 20 of both major polls. In 2001, the Bowling Green defense was first in the conference in total defense, as well as four other major defensive categories. Durkin also coached fourth-team All-American and first-team all-conference selection Brandon Hicks.
A four-year starter at defensive end and outside linebacker for the Falcons as a player, he was elected a two-year captain by his teammates. He also received a number of awards during his career including the Ken Schoeni Award for character and toughness, the Carlos Jackson Award for personifying the values of a true student-athlete and the Leadership Award for displaying great leadership.
Durkin earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Bowling Green in 2001, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision. Born Jan. 15, 1978, Durkin is married to the former Sarah Brumback. Klunder will work with the offense, and specifically with offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick, in his position.
From Waverly, Iowa, Klunder comes to Notre Dame after serving as the running backs coach and coordinator of football operations at Harvard University since 1998. He was responsible for all running back unit meetings, practice organization and position evaluations.
While at Harvard, Klunder’s running backs led the Ivy League in rushing three times and he coached three all-Ivy players, including Chris Menick, who finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in Harvard history. In 2001, Harvard won the Ivy League championship with a perfect 9-0 record and became the first Harvard team since 1913 to go undefeated or untied in league play.
Prior to his stint at Harvard, Klunder worked as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Minnesota and also was a graduate assistant football coach at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. While at St. Cloud, Klunder coached Randy Martin, who was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy given to the NCAA Division II Player of the Year.
A four-year starter at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, Klunder was a four-year starter and letterwinner at defensive back. He was a two-time unanimous all-conference selection and an honorable mention All-American. He also was a co-captain when Wartburg advanced to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals in 1994.
Klunder received a degree in sports management from Wartburg in 1995 and has taken master’s coursework at both St. Cloud State and Minnesota. He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Born Aug. 28, 1972, Klunder is single and lives in Mishawaka.