After Saving $35M From Jim Harbaugh’s Departure, Michigan AD Reveals Plans to Revive Wolverines With That Extra Money

Published 02/14/2024, 3:30 PM EST

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Amidst the widespread coaching turnover in college football, the University of Michigan has seen a complete overhaul of its defensive coaching staff. Jim Harbaugh’s move to the Los Angeles Chargers prompted a mass exodus, with many staff members following him to the NFL. 

Notably, even Harbaugh’s son, Jay, left to join the Seattle Seahawks as a special teams coordinator. The Wolverines’ defensive staff saw its last member, co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale, depart for the Chargers, marking a sudden and total transformation from just days prior. Michigan athletic director Warde Manue, however, is not surprised. 

Warde Manuel was prepared for his mass coaching departure


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During a Wednesday announcement, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel disclosed that while he appointed Sherrone Moore to uphold program continuity, he was fully aware and prepared for the potential mass departure that occurred. 

Manuel emphasized his understanding of staff members’ decisions and their growth opportunities. He expressed confidence in Sherrone Moore’s ability to rebuild the staff and maintain the program’s momentum.

Regarding Moore’s contract being $7 million less than Harbaugh’s leaked $35 million offer, Manuel clarified that the savings don’t necessarily translate into increased spending on assistant coaches.

He explained that the assistant coach budget had already been increased before Harbaugh’s departure, and those funds would remain available for Moore to utilize in building his staff. Manuel reiterated his commitment to investing in talent to support the football program’s success in Ann Arbor.

Recruiting under Sherrone Moore


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With the appointment of Don Martindale as Michigan’s new defensive coordinator under head coach Sherrone Moore, the coaching roster is undergoing significant changes. Moore is actively finalizing a replacement for the defensive line coach and seeking a successor for secondary coach Steve Clinkscale.

Greg Scruggs, previously affiliated with Wisconsin, stands out as a leading candidate for the defensive line coach position, recognized for his coaching expertise and recruiting acumen. Additionally, Lamar Morgan, former defensive coordinator at Louisiana, is under consideration for his comprehensive coaching background and familiarity with the Ravens’ defensive system.

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Scruggs’ transition from director of player development at Cincinnati to D-line coach at Wisconsin highlights his versatility, while Morgan’s experience as a defensive coordinator and cornerback coach demonstrates his adaptability. Michigan football’s emphasis on staff development and recruitment underscores its commitment to maintaining competitiveness within the college football landscape.

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Written by:

Anushka Laha


One take at a time

Anushka Laha is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. She is great at identifying and relating to the finer on and off-the-field nuances, which grants her the ability to cover an array of topics - from delving into the lives of retired NFL legends like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to the exciting developments happening on the college football field. As an artistic person, Anushka sees football and its physicality with an artistic lens where the players are creating art with their plays.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal