After a disappointing 2-4 season where a bevy of issues kept the Michigan team from competing at a winning level, self reflection is leading to lots of changes of the staff.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t making changes just for change sake. He knows he has to turn things around as quickly as possible, he knew he had to shake things up in a massive way.
One trend that cannot be ignored when viewing Michigan’s new hire is youth. While being in ones early-to-mid 30’s as an athletes is considered old, its plenty young for a coach.
- New co-defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald is 33
- New co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Maurice Linguist is 36
- New safeties coach George Helow is 34
- Running backs coach Mike Hart is 34
- Receivers coach coach Ron Bellamy is 39
Five new assistant coaches, all under the age of 39. They’ll be joining other members on the staff who are in that age range.
- Co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis is 37
- Co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Sherrone Moore is 34
- Special teams coordinator/Tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh is 31
- Defensive line coach Shaun Nua is 39
The average age of Michigan’s staff is 36. This wasn’t just straight coincidence. This was strategic. Jim Harbaugh hired men he believes are right for the program. And while these hires are ‘young’, their resumes indicate they’re all qualified to be on U-M’s staff.
The recruiting trail isn’t for the faint of heart, and Michigan’s energy level for that grind has increased with these hires. A reflection of that resides in what the new coaches have done in the past, as well as what they’re doing right now. Linguist, Hart, and Helow have already extended offers to top prospects across the country, Macdonald has began speaking to recruits, and Bellamy is surely going to get his feet wet really soon.
With most of the staff around the same age, the goal is for camaraderie to follow, along with cohesiveness in philosophy. Harbaugh has assembled a lot of coaches who are hungry to continue rising up the coaching ranks, who have a preogative to get their players performing at a high level. The key is the staff all buying into what the man up top, Harbaugh, is selling.
After an incredibly disappointing year, major changes were necessary. Changes that went beyond tweaks. This is a revamped coaching staff. It feels fresh. Whether that leads to success remains to be seen, but this is the type of formula that has the potential to solve some of the problems Michigan’s faced in recent memory.