Meet the 2015 Michigan Coaching Staff

When Jim Harbaugh was hired, everyone was expecting an elite level coaching staff. And he did not disappoint.

Harbaugh filled his staff with former NFL players and coaches, as well as some of his former assistants from San Francisco and Stanford.

Offense

Head Coach/QB Coach: Jim Harbaugh

  • Bio: Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in all of football. After turning around University of San Diego and Stanford, he took a forgotten franchise in San Francisco and led them to three straight NFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl appearance in his first three years.
  • Age: 51
  • Hometown: Toledo, OH
  • College: Michigan
  • Playing Career:
    • B1G Player of the Year at Michigan (1986), Academic All-American (1986)
    • 1987 1st Round Draft Pick (CHI)
    • 15 seasons as a QB in the NFL (CHI, IND, BAL, SD, DET, CAR)
  • Michigan Connection: Former Quarterback and Alum, son of former DB coach, grew up in Ann Arbor
  • On the Recruiting Trail: Harbaugh is known as one of the best recruiters in the country. His playing and coaching careers alone give him an advantage over every other head coach.
  • Highlights

Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach: Tim Drevno

  • Bio: Coaching since 1991 (GA at Cal State Fullerton), Drevno has become one of the top offensive line coaches and running game coordinators in the country. He finally caught his big break when Harbaugh hired him as his offensive coordinator and offensive line coach (sound familiar?) at San Diego in 2003. From then on out, he was by Harbaugh\’s side up until last season when he was USC\’s offensive line coach.
  • Age: 46
  • Hometown: Torrance, CA
  • College: El Camino Junior College, Cal State Fullerton
  • Playing Career:
    • 1987 Junior College National Champion
  • Michigan Connection: None
  • On the Recruiting Trail: With college and NFL experience, as well as his history of working with great lineman at both levels will give Michigan a shot with most top lineman. Add in his West Coast connections and he will be a big coup for this program moving forward.
  • Highlights

Running Backs Coach: Tyrone Wheatley

  • Bio: The former Michigan star tailback took the long way back to Michigan as he started coaching his former high school (Dearborn Heights Robichaud), made his way through college football until he took over as the running backs coach for one of the best running back stables in the NFL.
  • Age: 42
  • Hometown: Inkster, MI
  • College: Michigan
  • Playing Career:
    • Michigan High School Player of the Year (1990)
    • B1G Offensive Player of the Year (1992), B1G Rushing Champ (1992), Rose Bowl Player of the Game (1993)
    • 1995 1st Round Pick (NYG)
    • 10 years in the NFL (NYG, OAK)
  • Michigan Connection: Former Running Back and Alum
  • On the Recruiting Trail: Wheatley is a huge asset in Michigan and especially in Detroit. He\’s known as one of the best players in state history and has tons of connections. In an interview with Steve Wiltfong, Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher said \”Wheatley gets who he wants at Cass Tech\” ($). That\’s huge.
  • Highlights

Wide Receivers Coach/Passing Game Coordinator: Jedd Fisch

  • Bio: Probably the most \”out of left field\” hire for Harbaugh, Fisch is a guy with tons of experience in a short time span. He coached at a couple lower tier college football programs before catching on with the Houston Texans. That led to several stops around the league between 2001-10 before he was named offensive coordinator at Miami (FL). When the NFL came knocking again, he answered and was the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars the last two seasons.
  • Age: 38
  • Hometown: East Hanover Township, New Jersey
  • College: Florida
  • Playing Career: None
  • Michigan Connection: None
  • On the Recruiting Trail: His NFL experience and youthfulness should allow him to impress and interact with recruits and parents, especially as a position coach.
  • Highlights

Tight Ends Coach: Jay Harbaugh

  • Bio: The son of the head coach. Jay is Jim\’s oldest son and looks to be the next great Coach Harbaugh. Before working with his Uncle John as the Offensive Quality Control with the Ravens, Jay was an undergraduate assistant at Oregon State.
  • Age: 25
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • College: Oregon State
  • Playing Career: None
  • Michigan Connection: Son of former Michigan QB and grandson of former Michigan DB coach.
  • On the Recruiting Trail: It is not known exactly how he\’ll be on the recruiting trail but i\’m guessing a 25 year old with NFL coaching experience will be able to interact with recruits better than anyone on the staff.
  • Highlights

Special Teams: John Baxter

  • Bio: Known for producing aggressive and productive special teams in college, Baxter is a big time pick up for Michigan. Their special teams struggled in 2014 and his 32 years of experience, including his last two stops at USC (2010-14) and Fresno State (1997-2009), should help turn it around quickly.
  • Age: 61
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • College: Loras College
  • Playing Career: None
  • Michigan Connection: None
  • On the Recruiting Trail: Baxter is known for being a very good coach and recruiter. His experience alone will keep most recruits and their parents\’ ears.
  • Highlights

Defense

Defensive Coordinator/LB Coach: DJ Durkin

  • Bio: One of the hottest names in college coaching, Durkin is a young, fiery defensive coordinator that preaches turnovers for his defense. Before he was a big name on the coaching scene, he started off working under Urban Meyer as a graduate assistant and at his alma mater. That is where Harbaugh found him and brought him on as his DE/ST coach. And for the last four years, he took over Will Muschamp\’s defense at Florida.
  • Age: 37
  • Hometown: Youngstown, OH
  • College: Bowling Green
  • Playing Career:
    • Team captain and led BGSU in tackles (1998)
  • Michigan Connection: None
  • On the Recruiting Trail: This is where Durkin may benefit the Wolverines the most. He is known for being one of the best in the country thanks to his ability to build relationships with both the recruits and their families.
  • Highlights

Defensive Line Coach: Greg Mattison

  • Bio: The lone holdover from Hoke\’s staff, Mattison is one of the best defensive coordinators in all of football. He\’s proven it in both the NFL and college since 1976 but is going to focus on just the defensive line in 2015.
  • Age: 65
  • Hometown: Madison, WI
  • College: University of Wisonsin-La Crosse
  • Playing Career:
    • Played 4 years at the University of Wisonsin-La Crosse
  • Michigan Connection: DL coach (1992-94), Defensive Coordinator (1995-96 and 2011-14)
  • On the Recruiting Trail: There aren\’t many 65 year old coaches that can relate to recruits as well as Mattison. His high energy, fun, easy going attitude draws rave reviews from just about every top recruit he targets.
  • Highlights

Cornerbacks Coach: Greg Jackson

  • Bio: The former star college and 12 year NFL safety started his coaching career in 2003 at the University of Idaho. After working his way up the college ranks, Harbaugh hired his former San Diego Chargers teammate as his assistant defensive backs coach with the 49ers in 2011 where he worked for the last 4 years.
  • Age: 48
  • Hometown: Hialeah, FL
  • College: LSU
  • Playing Career:
    • First team All-American (1988), let the nation in interceptions (1988)
    • 1989 3rd Round Draft Pick (NYG)
    • 12 year NFL career (NYG, PHI, NO, SD)
  • Michigan Connection: None
  • On the Recruiting Trail: His resume alone will catch just about every defensive backs\’ attention, as well as the parents. Expect him to become one of the best recruiters for Harbaugh.
  • Highlights

Safeties Coach: Mike Zordich

  • Bio: The former college and NFL star is one of the most underrated additions to this coaching staff. After retiring from the league, he started coaching at Cardinal Mooney HS in 2003-2008 before landing a job as a Defensive Quality Control coach and Safeties coach with Andy Reid\’s Philadelphia Eagles from 2009-12. Last year, he coached safeties at Youngstown State.
  • Age: 51
  • Hometown: Youngstown, OH
  • College: Penn State
  • Playing Career:
    • All-American safety (1985)
    • 1986 9th Round Draft Pick (SD)
    • Played 12 seasons in the NFL at corner and safety (NYJ, ARI, PHI)
  • Michigan Connection: None
  • On the Recruiting Trail: Another guy with a stellar coaching and playing resume. He\’s also another guy that coaches with amazing passion and attitude. So, expect recruits to be very impressed with his pitches on the trail.
  • Highlights

Strength & Conditioning Coach: Kevin Tolbert

  • Bio: The former Midshipmen player and graduate started his college S&C career at Miami (FL) in 1998. He\’s also had stops in Philadelphia with the Eagles (1996-97) and with the Detroit Lions (2o08) that sandwiched his time in Ann Arbor as the S&C coach for Lloyd Carr (2001-2007). After Detroit, he took a job with Harbaugh at Stanford and then followed him to San Francisco before coming back to Michigan.
  • Age: 56
  • Hometown: Hempstead, NY
  • College: Navy
  • Playing Career:
    • 3 years with Navy
  • Michigan Connection: S&C coach for Lloyd Carr (2001-07)
  • On the Recruiting Trail: While he won\’t travel for recruiting, his presence in the weight room and product on the field is huge for most recruits.
  • Highlights