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Coaching Carousel – It’s a New World

Since the college football season for 2023-24 is in the history books, and our Michigan Wolverines are enjoying the glow of a national title, I’ve been ruminating on news coming from the collegiate football world, and decided I’d weigh in. on some of this stuff. By the way, this isn’t the first of this type of commentary. So much is changing and there are so many moving parts on so many fronts, I’ve got a lot of ruminating to do, so stay tuned on all of my platforms, facebook, youtube, and my website,

Anyway, the first front is the coaching changes. The big one that has everybody in my world talking is Jim Harbaugh to the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers, and Sherrone Moore being named his replacement at Michigan. First of all, I am solidly behind Moore as the new coach. In my judgement, he is absolutely the right man for the job! I support him completely. Sherrone keeps a vital continuity in place from a national championship campaign. The core of the team that won that title knows him and his methods and wanted him as their coach, and that is vital.

Harbaugh leaving is disappointing in a selfish way, but I hold no ill will about it. As a matter of fact, I wish Jim well in his new adventure in the NFL. I’m kind of excited for him, and I am deeply grateful for what he did in his time in Ann Arbor. With what he went through this past season, having all the nipping at his heels by the media and the NCAA on unsubstantiated and unproven allegations was obviously difficult for him. The ability of the team to not let it distract them from their goal of winning the national title is as much a credit to them as it is to Harbaugh for creating that kind of culture within the team. Well done Jim, you don’t need the BS anymore. I hope your dream of a Super Bowl arrives sooner than later.

Secondly, I’ve seen some articles about Harbaugh taking all of Michigan’s assistant coaches with him to LA, and leaving the Wolverines in a lurch. Not for one second should we worry about that. It would be selfish for us to impose our intentions on someone who is building a career of his own. If it’s the right move for them and family to get where they want to progress in their careers, I’m all for them.

Let’s also trust Sherrone Moore to populate his staff with the same kind of quality that Harbaugh showed developing his staff. Let’s be clear, Moore did a great job of keeping key members of the previous staff. That continuity from last season continues with the Kirk Campbell, the offensive co Ordinator, and Grant Newsome, the offensive line coach. Both of those guys were integral members of Harbaughs staff, Moore just elevated them titles. And, I might add, Newsome was singled out by Harbaugh at one point last year as a rising star in the coaching ranks.

New defensive co ordinator Wink Martindale got a lot of attention when he was hired. Yes, he’s a little older, but what tremendous experience, and track record. And, lets not forget, Martindale was a mentor to both Mike McDonald, and Jesse Minter, the last two Michigan DC’s who worked out pretty well. New DB’s coach LeMar Morgan has defensive co ordinator experience. So, let’s celebrate this group. It has a great mix of experience and youth. It has the understanding of what it takes to win ingrained in all of their past experience. It has a Michigan football feel to it. Will there be bumps in the road? Probably – but, it won’t be for lack of talent.

Lastly, this is not just a dynamic in Ann Arbor. In this ever-changing world of collegiate football, things are happening that have never happened before. Take Chip Kelly at UCLA. He left his head coaching position on his own, he wasn’t fired. Then he accepted the job as OC at Ohio State. From head coach to assistant…not the usual progression is it? It’s not college football as usual anymore sports fans.

Bill O’Brien had accepted the OC job at Ohio State for a couple of weeks then he took the head coaching position at Boston College. Sorry Buckeyes but I gotta go!

Alabama, with the exodus of Nick Saban, is losing coaches and players. The same is happening at Oregon State, Michigan State, Duke, Arizona, Washington, Texas A&M, Syracuse and elsewhere. All those programs are making a transition to a new coaching staff. Some of them will have more drastic changes than Michigan.

The money that’s being thrown around in TV deals, to players via NIL, and the movement from college to university via the transfer portal, and conference realignment and disappearance, has changed the landscape of what we used to know as college athletics. In turn, it has changed the coaching profession. I bet if you asked most coaches today, they would tell you they love the x’s and o’s. They love the technical aspects of their game. They love teaching fundamentals and making players better at their craft. It’s the growing “off the field” baggage that comes along with the coaching that is making the job less attractive. And, sadly, I think the baggage is getting even worse.

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