According to multiple reports on Monday morning, Michigan Wolverines longtime strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert has accepted the same role on Jim Harbaugh’s staff in the NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Additionally, The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb has reported he is expecting assistant strength and conditioning coach Justin Tress to take over for Herbert.
This news comes just two days after new Michigan head coach Sherrone Moore said he was “very” encouraged he would be able to retain Herbert in Ann Arbor.
“You know, we’ll take it a day at a time and see what happens with the staff. But definitely excited,” Moore said.
Herbert had been with the Michigan football program since 2018. This past season, he took on more responsibilities when Harbaugh elevated him to the program’s associate head coach. Prior to that, he spent five years as the strength and conditioning coach at Arkansas.
This is a huge loss for Moore and the Wolverines. Harbaugh called Herbert the “X-factor of our entire program” at one point, and countless other coaches and players have given Herbert praise over the years, so this is a big blow to Michigan’s coaching staff.
“It’s really untouchable, the things he’s done for the program, the things he’s done for the line of scrimmage on both sides for us,” Moore said in 2023. “He’s the best strength coach in the country. It’s not close.”
What’s interesting is that strength and conditioning coaches make considerably less money in the NFL than they do in the college ranks. Herbert signed a five-year, $5 million contract with Michigan just last year. Meanwhile, most NFL strength and conditioning coaches make roughly half of Herbert’s salary in Ann Arbor.
Word on the street is Jesse Minter is also joining Harbaugh’s staff in Los Angeles, but that has not been made official yet. Moore will also have to find a replacement for his old positions as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, as well as a new linebackers coach to replace Chris Partridge.
There is a lot of work to be done, and Moore said at his introductory press conference he is hoping to have everything done as soon as possible. We’ll see just how fast he can get all of this done in the coming weeks ahead.