Thursday, January 1, 2015

Michigan Assistant Coach Rumors (January 1)

D.J. Durkin could be the next domino to fall in Michigan's assistant coaching search.
Here are some updated rumors and speculation about the open coaching positions on Michigan's staff.

1. Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach/Quarterbacks: Signed, sealed, and delivered (LINK). Next.

2. Tim Drevno, Offensive Coordinator: Drevno, the USC offensive line coach and run game coordinator, is coming to Michigan (LINK).

3. Running backs: Buffalo Bills running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley followed head coach Doug Marrone from Syracuse to Buffalo, and now Marrone has opted out of his contract for 2015. That likely means Wheatley is at least temporarily out of a job. Marrone is expected to interview for other NFL head coaching jobs, so Wheatley could follow him if Marrone gets a head job elsewhere. Wheatley wants to move up the ladder, but I would not expect Drevno and Wheatley to split offensive coordinator duties. The hiring of Drevno seems to dim the hopes of getting Wheatley to coach running backs.
Other possibilities: Reggie Davis, Fred Jackson, Roy Manning

4. Wide receivers: Rumors appeared on New Year's Eve that John Morton was expected to join Michigan's staff, although there has been nothing confirmed yet. No, this isn't the former Detroit Lions wide receiver, but San Francisco 49ers wide receiver coach Morton is out of a job. Morton grew up in Michigan and played wide receiver at Western Michigan, so he's a midwest guy and would presumably have some connections in the area. San Francisco's wide receivers weren't spectacular, but he has worked with some pretty big names in Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.
Other possibility: Erik Campbell, Ronald Curry, Jeff Hecklinski

5. Tight ends: Kentucky tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow has been rumored to be a possibility. Harbaugh has reportedly already reached out to Marrow, whose help in recruiting at Kentucky has been pretty impressive. Marrow grew up in Ohio and played football at Toledo, so he's another midwest guy. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has said that he expects Marrow to return to the Wildcats next season.
Other possibility: Reggie Davis, Kevin Koger

6. Offensive line: San Francisco 49ers offensive line coach Reggie Davis was with Harbaugh for each year in San Francisco. He has spent his entire playing (Washington, San Diego Chargers) and coaching (UNLV, Oregon State, San Francisco 49ers) career on the west coast. Maybe he's attached to the lifestyle, family, and friends out there. If he comes with Harbaugh, he'll be a much needed connection on the west coast.
Other possibility: Andy Moeller

7. Defensive coordinator: Florida defensive coordinator and interim head coach D.J. Durkin has been a popular name floating around for the past few weeks. He worked with Harbaugh at Stanford and has experience working with special teams, defensive ends, and linebackers, so he could help out in any of those areas.
Other possibility: Lance Anderson, Greg Mattison

8. Defensive line: Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has been suggested as a possibility. Montgomery, of course, was at Michigan for the first couple years of Brady Hoke's tenure and then left for a bigger paycheck in Norman. Montgomery was only ever in charge of part of the defensive line at Michigan, so the only real reasons to move back would be another pay raise and/or control over the whole position group.
Other possibilities: D.J. Durkin, Roy Manning, Greg Mattison

9. Linebackers: Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison might be a holdover from the previous staff to this one. Mattison has family in the area, loves the University of Michigan, is a pretty good coach with NFL experience, and is a great recruiter. He also has connections to Harbaugh and potential defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.
Other possibility: Lance Anderson, Peter Hansen, Roy Manning

10. Defensive backs: San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach Greg Jackson will be looking for a job. He is from Florida and played college football at LSU, so his potential connections in Florida and SEC country could help Michigan's recruiting efforts in difficult locations.
Other possibility: Curt Mallory, Roy Manning

11. Strength and conditioning: Stanford strength and conditioning coordinator Shannon Turley was hired by Harbaugh at San Diego, moved with him to Stanford, and has remained at Stanford while Harbaugh was with the 49ers. This might give him a chance to move up to a larger, more storied program.
Other possibility: Kevin Tolbert


  1. Koger--I hadn't seen that elsewhere. Is there buzz on it or just a suggestion?

    1. I'm just throwing that out there since he's been a GA. He could be the young, developmental coach on the staff like there often seems to be.

  2. Here's some pretty good stuff on 2013 NSCA Strength Coach of the Year Shannon Turley who after Drevno is the one guy I'd most like to get on this list and I think is also the guy least likely to come. I'd bet serious money, say up to $10 that we do get a former Turley assistant or recommendation.

    “If you’re at the point where you’re on your back…pushing weight up off the ground, you’ve already lost.”

    “I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here,” he says. “I’ve had opportunities to go other places and I choose to stay here.

  3. Durkin already wears the Harbaugh victory Khaki's I see.

  4. Kevin Tolbert is strong. You really want to check out this link

  5. Can we please stop bringing up Moeller, Campbell, Manning and Jackson? We need to clean house of current coaches (not one of whom has been more than average), and not bring back mediocre coaches from the past, just because the're "Michigan men".

    1. If you think Campbell is a mediocre coach, I'm not sure you're qualified to judge.

    2. You'll be hard pressed to find anybody, anywhere at any level with a more impressive record as a position coach.

      From his Iowa Bio ...

      Campbell coached a 1,000-yard receiver an NCAA record eight straight seasons (1998-2005), with Braylon Edwards becoming the ninth player in Division I-A history and the first player in Big Ten history to achieve three straight 1,000-yard seasons. His streak of 1,000-yard receivers came to an end in 2006, but a record three Wolverines receivers gained over 500 yards for the first time in school history.

      In McNutt and Edwards, Campbell has coached two of the top receivers in Big Ten history. McNutt's 1,315 receiving yards in 2011 ranks seventh best for a single season in the Big Ten, while Edwards had 1,330 yards in 2004 for the sixth best single season total. Edwards leads all Big Ten receivers with 39 career touchdowns, while McNutt ranks 10th with 28 career scores.

      Campbell was a key factor in the punt return success of Steve Breaston, the Big Ten's career punt return leader. Breaston returned 127 punts for a conference record 1,599 yards (12.6 avg.) and four scores during his career.

      Campbell coached three All-Americans during his tenure -- David Terrell, Marquise Walker and Edwards -- and had four players receive the Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player team award. Campbell's players have earned All-Big Ten honors 18 times, including 10 first-team citations and eight second-team honors.

      Campbell joined the Michigan staff in 1995 and coached some of Michigan's top wide receivers. His list of NFL products includes: Amani Toomer, a second-round draft pick of the New York Giants (1996); Mercury Hayes, a fifth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints (1996); 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, a first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders (1998); Streets, a fifth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers (1999); Marcus Knight, a free agent pickup of the Oakland Raiders (2000); Terrell, the eighth pick of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears; Walker, a third-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccanneers (2002); free agent signee Ronald Bellamy by the Miami Dolphins (2003); Edwards, the third pick of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns; Jason Avant, a fourth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles (2006); Steve Breaston, a fifth-round selection of the Arizona Cardinals (2007); Mario Manningham, a third-round pick of the New York Giants (2008); Adrian Arrington, a seventh-round selection of the New Orleans Saints (2008); and Myers, taken in the sixth round by Oakland in 2009. Edwards capped a record-setting career by winning the 2004 Biletnikoff Award as the top wide receiver in college football.