4 Options to Coach Michigan Football if Jim Harbaugh is Suspended
*Originally published on Oct. 9
The ongoing investigation into sign-stealing within the Michigan Football program suggests that head coach Jim Harbaugh may face disciplinary actions, possibly including suspension. Despite his denials, the NCAA and Big Ten are examining the case to decide on potential penalties for the football program. With the prospect of Harbaugh having to temporarily leave his role, potentially during the current season, let's take a look at four options to coach the Wolverines if that happens.
The order of my options is primarily based on the fact that I would prefer Sherrone Moore and Jesse Minter to be able to focus on their roles as offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.
No. 1 Option – Mike Hart
- Former Michigan running back
- Currently Michigan's run game coordinator and running backs coach.
- Western Michigan running backs coach from 2014 to 2015.
- Running backs coach at Syracuse for one year and at Indiana for three years, later becoming assistant head coach in 2020.
- Hired as Michigan's running backs coach in 2021.
- Michigan's run game coordinator in 2022 at Michigan.
No. 2 Option – Jay Harbaugh
- Jim Harbaugh's son
- Michigan's special teams coordinator and safeties coach.
- Began coaching career in 2008 at Oregon State as an undergraduate assistant
- Worked as an offensive quality control coach for three seasons Baltimore Ravens
- Hired by Michigan in 2017 to serve as tight ends coach and assistant special teams coach
- Promoted to Wolverines' special teams coordinator in 2017.
- Running backs coach from 2017 to 2020 and tight ends coach in 2021.
No. 3 Option – Sherrone Moore
- Currently Michigan's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach
- Graduate assistant at Louisville in 2009, eventually promoted to tight ends coach
- Hired by Central Michigan in 2014 as tight ends coach, later becoming assistant head coach
- Hired as tight ends coach at Michigan in 2018
- Eventually promoted to co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Michigan, and then to the primary offensive coordinator before the 2023 season.
- Led Michigan as the head coach for the game on September 16 against Bowling Green, resulting in a 31-6 win while Harbaugh was suspended.
No. 4 Option – Jesse Minter
- Currently a defensive coordinator at Michigan
- Defensive intern at Notre Dame in 2006.
- Graduate assistant at Cincinnati for two seasons.
- Linebackers coach and defensive coordinator at Indiana State from 2009 to 2012.
- Defensive coordinator for Georgia State from 2013 to 2016.
- Hired by the Baltimore Ravens in 2017 as a defensive assistant, Assistant DBs coach in 2019, DBs coach in 2020.
- Vanderbilt's defensive coordinator and safeties coach in 2021
Bottom Line: Prepping for the Future
With the cloud of a potential suspension hovering over Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh due to the sign-stealing probe, the Wolverines may soon find themselves at a leadership crossroads. The program, however, is not short of qualified internal candidates to take the helm. Mike Hart's expertise with the run game, Jay Harbaugh's special teams and safeties acumen, Sherrone Moore's offensive orchestration, and Jesse Minter's defensive strategy all present viable options to steer the team in Harbaugh's absence. Each candidate brings a wealth of experience and a deep connection to the Michigan legacy, ensuring that, even in the face of uncertainty, the Wolverines are poised to maintain their competitive edge and uphold the team's storied tradition.