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Report: Josh Gattis sheds light on Michigan departure in text to players

"In life I would never advise anyone to be where they are not wanted," Gattis reportedly said in a text to Wolverine players.
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Josh Gattis has left Michigan for the same job at Miami, a move that surprised just about everyone who wasn't Josh Gattis.

In a text to players, reported Sunday by ESPN's Tom VanHaaren, the former Michigan offensive coordinator laid out exactly why left Ann Arbor for the same job in Coral Gables.

I have no inside information here, but reading the context clues can fill in a lot of blanks.

The past few weeks at Michigan were consumed by speculation of Jim Harbaugh's future. While many in and around the program Harbaugh was all but gone to Minnesota, he ultimately stayed and made clear to AD Warde Manuel he is a Wolverine for life

Obviously, in that time, everyone in Schembechler Hall was forced to think about what a head coaching change would mean for them personally, and it seems reasonable to surmise that at some point in recent days Gattis expressed to Manuel he'd like to move up a chair and replace his soon-to-be-gone boss -- or at least be seriously considered for the job.

And, judging by the message in the text above, perhaps Manuel told Gattis he would not be a serious candidate for the Michigan head coaching job.

Again, this is my speculation, but it makes sense.

From Gattis's perspective, why wouldn't you view yourself next in line for the throne? He left a secure position on Nick Saban's Alabama staff to bet on himself in remaking Michigan's offense. After some bumps and bruises, twists and turns, that bet turned into a Big Ten championship and a College Football Playoff berth in 2021. 

And though the 2022 Wolverines likely take a step back with significant losses on both lines, every skill player save running back Hassan Haskins is set to return. The arrow for Michigan's offense, long term, points upward at 90 degrees. 

Gattis won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. 38-year-old offensive coordinators with his profile are getting head jobs all the time, especially internal promotions. See: Freeman, Marcus. It's perfectly logical to think he'd sell himself as Harbaugh's replacement.

To reiterate: this is just my speculation. There are two sides to every story, after all, and this story leaves plenty of room for interpretation. Maybe Gattis wanted a handshake guarantee he'd replace Coach Khakis without an external search and Manuel told him he couldn't do that. Or maybe Manuel told him in no uncertain terms he'd never be Michigan's head coach, period. 

Or perhaps Gattis's beef isn't with Manuel, but Harbaugh himself. Maybe he wanted a spot on Harbaugh's NFL staff and was told no. Maybe he wanted Harbaugh's endorsement for the job Harbaugh was about to leave and learned that wouldn't happen.

An ocean of nuance swims between these stories, but either way the outcome is the same. 

Gattis is off to Miami, and this theory could explain why. 


How easy it is for QwikCut users to swap files with Hudl users - Shane Boggs