Michigan Football News: Jim Harbaugh Launches Another Attack on Wolverines After Landing Ben Herbert & Jesse Minter

Published 02/06/2024, 11:24 AM EST

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Ben Herbert is “the best strength coach in the country. It’s not close,” said Sherrone Moore. When asked if he was encouraged in his ability to retain Herbert, “Vey,” said Moore. But last Thursday, the LA Chargers announced he’s jumped ship to join Jim Harbaugh in the NFL. And after Harbaugh said, “There’s so many good coaches out there, and nobody I respect more than Jesse [Minter],” it was only a matter of time before he, too, turned the Michigan Wolverines chapter. As of Tuesday, Minter is the new DC for the Chargers. Having already masterminded these switches, it looks like Harbaugh is coming for more.

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Just when the Michigan authorities thought they were safe, Harbaugh reportedly fired another shot, right in the bullseye. Per The Big Ten Huddle on X, “Michigan coaches Steve Clinkscale (Co-DC/DB) and Mike Elston (DL) are receiving interest from Jim Harbaugh to join the Los Angeles Chargers coaching staff.” Why is this a problem for Sherrone Moore & Co.? Clinkscale and Elston were reported to be the top prospects as Minter’s replacement, per several reports.

On an appearance on the Pat McAfee show last week, Moore revealed, “The staff is starting to shape out bit by bit every day. And I think by next week or so, we’ll have that in place.” If these reports about Harbaugh potentially poaching Clinkscale and Elston are true, especially considering “neither has committed to staying at Michigan yet,” Moore’s revelation may not go according to plan.

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Per MLive, Clinkscale makes about $850,000 as his base income, plus several compensations. Clinkscale was the No.1 in-house option and ‘the safest hire available,’ per a report. He’s held the position of the co-defensive coordinator since 2022. Elston makes about $625,000 as his base salary. He was introduced as the defensive lines head coach in January 2022, entering a three-year contract with UM.

Sherrone Moore has yet to decide about Minter and Jay Harbaugh’s replacements. Given the situation is fickle, he’d want to do all he can to retain the two defensive coaches. If the Wolverines HC manages to do so, Michigan will have some breathing room, as it will get to retain its defensive staff. During Minter’s era, Michigan’s defense ranked higher than most other teams at No. 2.

However, Moore and Michigan are well aware of Jim Harbaugh’s caliber when it comes to recruiting. So, if Clinkscale and Elton make the cut, it won’t come as a shock to the fans. Moore said, “We have great people here on the staff that we’re trying to keep, we’re going to go try to retain.” However, if Clinkscale isn’t the next DC, there are rumors that the Wolverines could look elsewhere.

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Another prospect, also in the rumors to switch

As intimidated by Michigan Insider Sam Webb, the Kansas City Chiefs defensive lines coach, Joe Cullen, is targeted to be the next Maize and Blue DC. Although CBS insider Jonathan Jones agreed he could be a potential prospect for Michigan, he also believed that NFL teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders are eyeing him as well.

Amidst the race against NFL giants, signs point to Cullen choosing Michigan. Considering his experience, it would help him take over the Wolverines’ defense and run it as smoothly as Jesse Minter. If Moore can secure him, it would be a solid coup.

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Do you think the Michigan Wolverines and Sherrone Moore are close to sealing their staff for the upcoming season? Or will Jim Harbaugh create an even bigger dent in their plans?

Sherrone Moore Shrugs off Ben Herbert’s Disappointment & Instills Faith in Michigan’s New S&C Coach

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Written by:

Pankti Parmar

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Pankti Parmar is an NFL news writer at EssentiallySports. With an educational background in psychology and a passion for sports, she dons the coat of a sports psychologist to get a feel for players’ psyche and game tactics. She is our resident expert on Jim Harbaugh and was a huge part of our play-by-play coverage of Harbaugh’s journey from the Wolverines to the Chargers.
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Edited by:

Tripti Sarda

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