The Pep Hamilton will-he or won't-he ended the same way Tim Drevno's tenure did: a hard landing after an attempted soft one.
The Michigan Insider has learned that Pep Hamilton is leaving Michigan pursue other opportunities. The program confirmed that former offensive analyst Ben McDaniels will now take over coaching the quarterbacks in Ann Arbor.
Since Michigan gave Hamilton a boggling four year, 4.25 million dollar contract two years ago the "hard landing" in question is more like a Scrooge McDuck vault dive, but perhaps Hamilton's pride is injured since nobody in football wanted him at that price any more. That's the ticket.
[After THE JUMP: IMPLICATIONS]
Per Webb, Ben McDaniels is now set to be the QB coach, which is a cleaner fit for his skillset since he is a former QB himself and has had a QB title at five different stops during his winding coaching career. Josh Gattis will presumably be the WR coach.
Hamilton became a lightning rod for criticism over the past year despite Michigan's passing efficiency shooting upward as the Speight/O'Korn/Peters era gave way to Shea Patterson. Rarely in the history of football has a guy with a top 10 S&P+ passing offense been so squarely in the crosshairs.
A lot of that has to do with how Michigan achieved those numbers: with an absurdly slow (123rd nationally) run-focused offense that barely connected the disparate parts. Michigan's burgeoning, effective arc zone read game was never paired with any play action off that look except for the very occasional RPO, of which there were exactly three. Patterson's wheelhouse was frequently ignored in favor of slow-developing multi-read plays that he didn't have the patience—or sometimes the protection—for.
Constant rumors that Michigan was going to pitch the whole offense more towards the strengths of their players gave way to post-mortems in which insiders asserted that the plan was not followed on gameday as Hamilton reverted to the Stanford sludge-ball that is his lizard brain default. How much of that is real and how much of it is finding a scapegoat is unknowable. Several aspects of the offense seem more Harbaugh than Pep.
What's certain: Michigan has gotten a ton younger, although this move is less of a youth movement than you might expect. Hamilton is 44; McDaniels is 38. More important is the fact that Pep's departure clears the decks for Josh Gattis to have full control, give or take Warriner suggestions and Harbaugh interventions. With a loaded WR corps and a senior QB, the direction seems clear: replicate the Moorhead-era Deep State approach that PSU took with Gattis at WR coach.
The spring game is now very interesting.