The University of Michigan not only has more wins than any other team in college football history but they also have the highest winning percentage. In order to put up numbers like that a team not only needs to have great players but they also need great coaches.
Over the years, the Wolverines have had some outstanding head coaches including Fielding Yost, Bo Schembechler, and Lloyd Carr, just to name a few.
So, what are the qualities one would look for when looking for the perfect University of Michigan football head coach? And more importantly, which coach currently fits that description?
Let’s take a look, shall we?
In order to be successful in the Big Ten, a head coach and his staff MUST be able to recruit the RIGHT players for his program. Though having top-ranked recruiting classes is certainly a good thing (Note: Urban Meyer at Ohio State), coaches like Mark Dantonio of Michigan State are able to bring in the lesser thought of prep players and develop them into great players. Regardless of how they get it done, the perfect Michigan head coach has to be able to recruit.
Having a relationship with his players yet demanding respect at the same time is crucial to being a great head coach. If the players know a head coach cares about them as an individual, they are more likely to give everything they have on Saturday afternoons. The perfect Michigan head coach has to be able to build relationships and earn the respect of his players.
Prior Success as a Head Coach
Some people get sick of hearing this, but THIS IS MICHIGAN! This is not an up and coming MAC program or a mid-level Big Ten program, it is a program that demands a head coach who has had prior success as a head coach, whether it be at the college level or the NFL level. The perfect Michigan head coach has to be one who has already proven himself a great coach.
Connection to Michigan Football
He is a “Michigan Man.” That is yet another term that drives a lot of people crazy but it should not be completely dismissed. In my opinion, the “perfect” head coach for the University of Michigan football program is one who has ties to Michigan. The perfect Michigan head coach should not only have a connection to Michigan football but should also have a deep knowledge of the history of the program.
When Jim Harbaugh was hired to be the next University of Michigan head coach, Wolverines fans jumped for joy because they finally got their guy.
Now, fast forward to the present and Harbaugh has had three less-than-desireable seasons out of the gate. He is a combined 1-5 against Michigan State and Ohio State and has yet to win a “big game” at Michigan. Because of that, many of the Michigan faithful have begun to doubt Harbaugh will ever get it done at his alma mater.
So, based on the criteria stated above (recruiting, player relationships/respect, prior success as a head coach, and connection to Michigan football), who is the perfect head coach for the University of Michigan football program?
Wolverines Nation, without further ado…
The perfect head coach for the Michigan football program is…
JAMES JOSEPH HARBAUGH!
I get it, Harbaugh has yet to dominate the Big Ten in his first three seasons but if you think there is a better head coach out there who would do a better job, please enlighten me.
By the time all is said and done, Jim Harbaugh WILL go down in history as one of the great University of Michigan football coaches and you can take that to the bank!