Jay Harbaugh as RB coach: why?

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on January 2nd, 2019 at 8:19 PM

Can anyone else think of someone who never played college football much less the position they were coaching who jumped right into a college assistant coaching job?

Better yet, has anyone ever heard of a guy who never played the position of RB replacing a former NFL RB and All-American at the position with a proven track record?

I’ll hang up and listen go blue



January 2nd, 2019 at 8:38 PM ^

Jay Harbaugh is listed as the recruiter for the following players:
Zach Charbonnet, Giles Jackson, Amauri Pesek-Hickson, Mustapha Muhammad, Christian Turner, Ben VanSumeren, Hassan Haskins, Tarik Black, Dylan McCaffrey, O'Maury Samuels, Joel Hongiford, Kurt Taylor, Devin Asiasi, Nick Eubanks, Sean McKeon, Tyrone Wheatley jr.

He's done pretty good for himself.

snarling wolverine

January 2nd, 2019 at 9:02 PM ^

If he's been assigned to regions that produce a lot of talented players, that says something about his recruiting skill.  He's not being asked to scout out North Dakota.

And even if it's entirely chance that all of the guys mentioned in the previous post picked Michigan, Jay evidently isn't hurting us any in this area.

In four years here, Jay's coached tight ends, special teams and now tailbacks.  All have done fine.  If his last name were anything other than Harbaugh, we'd probably look at him the same way we do Chris Partridge.  


January 2nd, 2019 at 10:14 PM ^

You are wrong on both accounts.

While recruiters may have ties to certain regions (a la Don Brown and the Atlantic northeast) they do not exclusively recruit those areas (a la Don Brown recruiting Dax Hill out of Oklahoma).

While there are many factors that go into any recruitment, the main recruiter spends the most time of any coach with the recruit.  He reaches out to the recruit on a consistent basis and is usually that player's future position coach, though not always.

You Only Live Twice

January 2nd, 2019 at 10:27 PM ^

Matt Dudek talked about this at length, a few weeks ago on Sam's show.  The recruiters have regions, but they are constantly evaluating situations with recruits and their families, who meet more than one recruiter, and if a rapport develops with a given recruiter then adjustments are made for optimal results.  My interpretation of his remarks is that the staff are supportive of whatever gets the best results and that people love working there, love coming in to work and that Harbaugh is clear about expectations for people in these jobs.  Not long after that I heard Warriner describe the work environment in very similar terms.  These are positive signs.


January 3rd, 2019 at 8:01 AM ^

And as far as the actual job, has done better than Tyrone Wheatley. Look at some of the garbage Tyrone recruited to the position. Most of the jobs Tyrone has had were being hired by Doug Marrone. 

He was just fired for overseeing a shitshow.

If Ty was such a great coach, why hasn't he ever climbed the ladder? He can't even land a G5 OC job.

Ty is my all time favorite Wolverine as a player, but that doesn't make him an elite coach.

Jake Long for OL Coach, Tom Brady for QB coach, Woodson for the secondary? Is that how it works with the ultimate fanboy?


January 3rd, 2019 at 1:12 PM ^

What is WD?

Someone who has never played nor coached the position questioning one's creds to coach the position.

Someone who has never spent a minute in a University of Michigan classroom.

Someone with multiple accounts here.


Ger Sauden

January 2nd, 2019 at 9:15 PM ^

Well, guess it must have just looked like to me the running game holes were improved this year.

Michigan ranked #30 in the NCAA in rushing with 203.8 yards a game.

Last year they were #49 in the NCAA with 177.7 yards a game.

I'll stay with that being because of Ed Warinner.


Florida St ended up ranked #127 in the NCAA with 91.1 yards a game. Greg Frey is the offensive line coach there this year.


January 2nd, 2019 at 10:26 PM ^

You just provided a counterpoint to your argument.  Ed Warinner did help the offensive line, for sure, but going from 49th to 30th is not a big enough leap to justify your point.  There are 130 teams in division 1 FBS.  19 spots isn't anything to write home about, neither is going up 23 yards per game on average.  In fact you could say that the reason why they gained more yards is that they ran the ball more this year (519 rushes to 496 with only a .5 yard per rush increase over last year).


January 2nd, 2019 at 8:49 PM ^

Dangerous reply on this board, get the vitriol and ban hammer ready...but just my take and I’m hoping people can see this as not inciting inflammatory topics but here it goes.  

Excellent receutier with decent production as a coach but only has the job due to Earl Bruce being the mentor of the head coach, that was the scenario with Zach Smith.  Don’t even start with the personal issues, look beyond that for bigger point relevant to the question asked.  He got the job due his family and recruited well.  His coaching was average and he got good results out of incredibly good athletes.  

Enter Brian Hartline.  He took those same athletes and turned them into elite receivers with gaudy record breaking stats.  As it looks with the momentum on the 2020 class, he will recruit at an even higher level.

The point is that good recruiting and ok results don’t mean that everything is ok.  Jay wouldn’t have the job without the family ties and that should be avoided.   His unit doesn’t have to be the worst, if they are not optimal in both areas it’s a fair question.  

I know the example I used for tOSU is low hanging fruit for people who like to bash. I would like to hear what the UM fanbase thinks and if your willing to risk  OK for the potential of great, assuming the right coach is available. Jay (edit) shouldn’t  be fired for production, but I’d say family ties shouldn’t have made him a hire for a blue blood program in he first place.  *ps, clearly Jim knows Jay better than I do.  I concede that before it’s even stated.  

Mods- I’m asking a legit question.  Please delete if it turns into a shit show unrelated to the bigger question. 

Edit. Jay should to Jay shouldn’t.  Bad typo


January 2nd, 2019 at 8:59 PM ^

I see your basic point, but Jay isn’t out there making an ass of himself on Twitter, and I don’t recall any of his pupils that underperformed in college blowing up in the NFL (Ex: Michael Thomas).  Are there better RB coaches on earth?  Yes.  Could Michigan hire some of them?  Most likely.  Would it be a night and day difference from what we have now?  I doubt it would be as pronounced as some would believe.  

I didn’t neg you, and I understand what you’re concern is, but I honestly think it’s a bit of a reach.  


January 2nd, 2019 at 10:37 PM ^

Thanks, I appreciate the response from someone  who know the finer details of the UM program better than I do.  I want to vomit just typing the name ZS and thanks for seeing the point I was asking about rather than focusing on his shit show of off the field issues that were not the point.   Just because Jim and Jay are family doesn’t mean his shouldn’t be there but I’m not close enough to his role/performance to form my own opinion.   


January 3rd, 2019 at 7:44 PM ^

That’s a valid point for sure but the receivers seem to have played much better as a unit aside from the Haskins bump.  It would be nice to have the all 22 view of the games to watch, it can be hard to analyze the route running and downfield blocking based solely on the tv view.