Jim Harbaugh is poised to return at Michigan but Harbaugh’s continuing to again overhaul his Wolverines’ coaching staff.
Last month, Harbaugh parted with veteran defensive coordinator Don Brown though Brown remained under contract through January 2022 at $1.7 million per the deal’s terms – among the highest salaries of any assistant coach in college football behind Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and Auburn’s defensive play-caller, Kevin Steele.
Sources on Friday told FootballScoop that Harbaugh has decided to move on from quarterbacks coach Ben McDaniels, the brother of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The Michigan Insider first reported the news.
McDaniels had been the Wolverines’ quarterbacks coach the past three seasons and had spent two years prior to that with the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Sources indicated to FootballScoop that Harbaugh has discussed the potential for Harbaugh, a former star quarterback at both Michigan and in the NFL, to coach the Wolverines’ quarterbacks moving forward.
In addition to the dismissal of Brown and the decision not to renew McDaniels’ expiring contract, Harbaugh also has five other assistant coaches on deals expiring this month, including Harbaugh’s son, Jay, who serves as Michigan’s running backs coach and special teams coordinator.
Sources told FootballScoop that early candidates to potentially join the Wolverines’ staff included former Michigan standout running back Mike Hart, who presently serves as Indiana’s running backs coach and associate head coach, and former Michigan standout wide receiver Ron Bellamy, who presently serves as head coach at West Bloomfield High School in Michigan between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Harbaugh is at a pivotal point in his tenure atop his alma mater’s program. The Wolverines played just six games in this COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season, but they lost four of them — three by double digits. Michigan now has lost six of its past eight games, five of the losses by 10 or more points.
The Wolverines are scheduled to open the 2021 season Sept. 4 against Western Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, before hosting Pac-12 program Washington the following week in a cross-sectional non-conference matchup of Power-5 powers.