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Column: Sherrone Moore should be the only candidate for the Michigan head coaching job

Sherrone Moore has proven time and again he is up to the task of being Michigan’s head coach.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
Jacob Singer Jake Singer is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Political Science. He is a Michigan Football and Basketball Writer for SB Nation's Maize and Brew

Now that Jim Harbaugh is back in the NFL, the Michigan Wolverines’ clear successor for the head coaching role is Sherrone Moore.

Since joining Michigan in 2018 and rising all the way to offensive coordinator, Moore has significantly contributed to the team’s success, with his leadership notably shining during Michigan’s national championship run.

This past season, Moore was 4-0 as an acting coach (even though the wins went to Harbaugh). It was his decision to run the ball 32 consecutive times against Penn State. He was behind an overall run game that produced 56 career rushing touchdowns by Blake Corum. He defeated Ryan Day and Ohio State to push the winning streak in The Game to three years in a row. And he called every offensive play this season that led the Wolverines to an undefeated season.

Not to mention, his ability to lead and make critical decisions was on full display during the Rose Bowl against Alabama, where his calls helped secure Michigan’s spot in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

“The biggest difference is that when you’re the head coach, you got to talk with the reps a lot, and that communication can be positive, can be a little negative,” Moore said in Pasadena. “But I try to manage that as best as possible — making the decisions on the fly in those situations, as a coordinator, especially going for it on fourth down, when you have a head coach there you’re counting on him. When you’re the head coach you kind of make that call yourself. But me and (Harbaugh), we have the same mindset of how we would call it, how we would do it in those situations. Those are the biggest differences going from just a coordinator to the head coach.”

The play-calling has been stellar, but the offensive line’s success has been tremendous under Moore’s guidance. The unit won back-to-back Joe Moore Awards in 2021 and 2022 for being the best in the nation. The offense’s efficiency is notable, with only eight turnovers in 924 snaps in 2023, a testament to Moore’s strategic prowess.

Moore’s value extends beyond coaching, as he is a proven recruiter and has played a vital role in developing key players like quarterback J.J. McCarthy and all six offensive linemen who entered their names into the NFL Draft this offseason.

The preservation of Michigan’s culture and preventing player transfers are also crucial aspects that Moore’s appointment could safeguard. No one wants to see Donovan Edwards, Colston Loveland or even Jadyn Davis hit the transfer portal. Moore had a hand in recruiting all of them.

While Moore’s experience as a head coach is limited to his interim period during Harbaugh’s suspension, his success in those games and his overall contribution to Michigan’s football program cannot be overlooked. His trajectory mirrors that of other successful coaches who rose to prominence under similar circumstances.

Financially, Moore is secured with Michigan until 2025, thanks to a three-year contract signed in 2023, totaling $3.6 million. His growing net worth, currently estimated at around $5 million, reflects his rising stature in the coaching world. While the Wolverines would pay him more to be the head coach, he would also certainly be a lot cheaper than tenured college coaches.

Moore said before the national title that he’s more than content in Ann Arbor and is not chasing a head-coaching position until “the time comes.”

“Most coaches at some point in their life want to do that,” Moore said. “When the time comes, the time comes, but I’m in no rush to leave this place, this great university, these students and coach Harbaugh.”

All that being said, Moore stands out as the prime candidate for Michigan’s head coaching role. His deep understanding of the team’s culture, proven track record in leadership, strategic acumen, and commitment to the university make him the logical and most fitting choice for the position.