June 24, 2024

Friday evening, the Michigan football team made an anticipated move official, promoting offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore to be its 21st head coach in program history in place of Jim Harbaugh. The move was widely celebrated, particularly among members of the Wolverines’ 2023 national championship team.

Still, even Moore would acknowledge that the celebration has a shelf life, and it will soon be time to return to work. And when he does, he won’t have trouble staying busy. Between other staff changes, recruiting, recruiting against recruiting, NCAA investigations and mass turnover in the starting lineup, Moore and his team have a lot to do in the coming weeks.

Below, we dig into the biggest of those tasks, breaking down the five biggest questions Moore will try to answer as new head coach. For each one, we look at the situation, what’s working in Michigan’s favor, what’s working against the Wolverines, and take some early educated guesses on how things shake out on each one.

How will the rest of the staff shake out?

The situation: Michigan now has at least two assistant coach openings to fill — offensive coordinator (Moore) and linebacker coach (Chris Partridge). In addition, it has been reported by 247Sports and others that defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, safety coach/special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh and others may look at joining Jim Harbaugh in the NFL.

Furthermore, it is unknown if other assistants will look toward other opportunities with Michigan hitting somewhat of a reset button with a new coach, younger roster and the national championship being won. If an assistant did look around, it’s hard to imagine any of their stock being higher than fresh off a championship

Moore and Michigan’s athletic department are expected to get to work on retaining and hiring assistants as soon as this weekend..

Working in Michigan’s favor: Obviously, the biggest thing working in Michigan’s favor when it comes to being an assistant coach or coordinator is the team’s momentum. The Wolverines have won three straight Big Ten titles and are reigning national champions. There will be roster turnover, but most expect Michigan to be a top-10 team entering the summer, and the defense in particular has enough talent to make an assistant coach or coordinator look good. Players have a professional, determined approach to game plan installs, as well as training and learning things on their own time.

In addition to the team, one has to imagine that, even if Sherrone Moore gets a big raise, he won’t make nearly the money Jim Harbaugh has the last two seasons. Does that allow the assistant coach salary pool — $6.4 million among 10 assistant coaches last year — to expand as a result?

Finally, the Wolverines’ assistants currently skew younger and family-oriented, have had little toxicity over the last three years and have built a strong camaraderie and collaboration between each other during practices. That may not be a deciding factor, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt with any assistant’s families, or with a coach who has been a part of a bad work environment recently.

Whether it’s a current staff member or a potential hire, Michigan seems to be a proven place where a hard-working coach can shine and be rewarded.

Working against Michigan: Like Jim Harbaugh, there are other members of Michigan’s staff who dream of coaching in the NFL some day. In addition to being the highest league of football, the NFL offers a slightly easier offseason schedule for coaches (read: no recruiting) and in many cases can be more lucrative financially. Be it with the Chargers or another franchise, a lot of teams will be intrigued by coaches who just conquered the college football world, and one can imagine the in-flux nature of today’s college football would make that interest mutual for some.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *