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Michigan makes a hire...and now someone has to go

Yesterday afternoon we shared that Jim Harbaugh planned to hire Arizona State defensive line coach Shawn Nua. Michigan officially announced that hire Thursday morning. With the move, Michigan now has 11 men for 10 full-time, on-the-field positions.

  • Josh Gattis - Offensive coordinator
  • Pep Hamilton - Asst. HC / passing game coordinator / receivers
  • Jay Harbaugh - Running backs
  • Ed Warinner - Offensive line
  • Ben McDaniels - receivers
  • Sherrone Moore - Tight ends
  • Don Brown - Defensive coordinator / linebackers
  • Shawn Nua - Defensive line
  • Anthony Campanile - Safeties
  • Michael Zordich - Corners
  • Chris Partridge - Special teams

11 men. 10 spots.

In late December Harbaugh announced, "Ben McDaniels is the receivers coach now. We'd like to make that permanent. He's done a really nice job." The younger brother of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Ben played quarterback at Kent State and served two seasons as an offensive assistant with the Bears prior to joining Harbaugh's staff. He previously served as offensive coordinator at Rutgers and Columbia, spent a year on staff with the Tampa Bay Bucs and two in Denver with Josh (one of those coaching quarterbacks).

So, if Harbaugh feels he has locked McDaniels in -- and we haven't heard of him interviewing anywhere else -- who is out? Prevailing message we hear from coaches is Pep Hamilton would be that guy. Pep has interviewed for multiple head coaching positions over the past few weeks, including one very recently. Additionally, Pep was believed to be in play for multiple Power 5 offensive coordinator positions, and given his extensive experience in the NFL one would think there are a number of doors still open in the league.

If Pep moves on, it would be interesting to see if Harbaugh moves McDaniels to quarterbacks and allows Gattis to serve as offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach (the position Gatt has coached his entire career).

Given what Pep is making at Michigan ($1.45 million in 2018, ninth-most in the country), it seems hard to think he would be moved off the field if he doesn't leave. Thus, if Pep doesn't leave, presumably McDaniels would have to remain in an analyst role. But given Harbaugh's words from just a few weeks ago, that doesn't seem to be the plan.

As always, we'll keep you posted as things become clear.

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