The Michigan Wolverines hired an experienced coach on Thursday afternoon, former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.
Shoop’s role remains to be seen but it’s likely he’ll be coaching safeties and/or linebackers for Michigan.
Who exactly is Bob Shoop, though?
Shoop’s 53 years old and has thirty years of coaching experience under his belt, 17 of which he’s served as a defensive coordinator. The past decade he’s had DC stops at Vanderbilt, Penn State, Tennessee, and Mississippi State.
“He’s a laid-back kind of guy,’ former Tennessee linebacker Darrin Kirkland said in 2016. “But he’s kind of fiery as well. Very smart, beautiful mind.”
After coming over from Penn State and becoming the Vols defensive coordinator, Shoop learned Tennessee’s terminology and schemes instead of trying to get the team to adapt to his. “Instead of learning his terminology, he learned ours, so it helps us a lot to be able to install different things and move forward,” Kirkland said.
Shoop is someone who’s considered a bright mind on the defensive side of the ball. “Shoop is a superstar, respected all over the country for his prowess calling defenses, attacking opponents and tailoring his scheme to fit his players’ strengths,” Bleacher Report’s Brad Shepard said. “He’s the kind of coordinator teams will come after every single season.”
The 2014 National Defensive Coordinator of the Year by 247 Sports, Shoop’s Penn State defense was ranked No. 2 in total defense in 2014, and No. 15 in 2015. Shoop’s units have also had a knack for getting after the quarterback and accumulating tackles for loss. Penn State had the most sacks per game in 2015, and his Tennessee defense ranked No. 15 in the nation in TFLs in 2016. At Mississippi State in 2018, the defense allowed the fewest amount of touchdowns in the nation and had only 29 plays (3.5 percent of plays on the season) where an offense gained 25+ yards or had a touchdown. That figure was the best in the nation.
There have been ebbs and flows in Shoop’s career, but he’s coached a lot of stellar units, and has done enough for players like Mississippi State linebacker Erroll Thompson to call Shoop a “guru”.
Shoop may mesh well with a mind like Don Brown, who preaches about solving problems with aggression. Brown and Shoop have worked together once in the past, Shoop was defensive backs coach at UMass in 2006 when Brown was their head coach. Shoop has an aggressive style, too. “We (Mississippi State) always talk about relentless pursuit and never-ending pressure – being dominant and disruptive up front and challenging all routes on the back end,” Shoop said in July. Shoop has the type of experience someone like Brown will respect, and the two men share enough philosophical defensive ideals to where they can not only co-exist, but where Shoop can throw in his own wrinkles to Brown’s scheme.
While Shoop isn’t known to be a trail-blazer as a recruiter, his coaching experience is above and beyond that of many linebacker or safety coaches in the nation. When coaches leave the Michigan program for other jobs, head coach Jim Harbaugh has always been able to plug in an adequate replacement, or make an upgrade. While any hire has a ‘to be determined’ component as to whether it will work out or not, Shoop seems capable of coaching players at a high level.