The Latest on Harbaugh’s Michigan Coaching Staff

As soon as Jim Harbaugh was officially announced as the head coach at Michigan, assistant coaching names from both the NFL and college started to be rumored as potential members of his coaching staff. And most of those rumors have come to fruition, and they are big time gets for Harbaugh.

First, there are several rumors that Harbaugh has decided to bring back Hoke\’s top two recruiters, Greg Mattison and Roy Manning.

Report: Greg Mattison to remain on Michigan staff under Harbaugh (USATSI)

— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) January 2, 2015

According to 247Sports\’ Steve Lorenz, Mattison has let several recruits know he \”will stay on the Michigan staff in some capacity.\” There have been rumors that he will coach either the linebackers or defensive line. I\’ve also read rumors of him being a Co-Defensive Coordinator. Either way, keeping Mattison on is HUGE for the Wolverines defense and recruiting.

As for Manning, the 2014 cornerbacks coach and top recruiter has not been officially announced but The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas has heard that Manning has applied for a job under Harbaugh ($):

\”Sources tell us Harbaugh has named his Director of Operations and that cornerbacks coach Roy Manning interviewed for a job this morning.\”

It is not known if Harbaugh has officially hired him but Manning has continued recruiting for Michigan, so I think it\’s safe to say he\’ll be back on the Wolverines sideline.

Balas also touched on Harbaugh\’s choice for Director of Football Operations ($):

“Harbaugh will turn to one of his most trusted friends to be his Director of Football Operations – U.S. Marine Corps Col. Jim Minick.”


Speaking of all but officially announced hires, it looks like Harbaugh has his offensive and defensive coordinators, and they\’re pretty big hires. On the offensive side, USC offensive line coach and former Harbaugh staff member at San Diego, Stanford and San Francisco, Tim Drevno, will be Michigan\’s next offensive coordinator.

Report: Tim Drevno soon to be named offensive coordinator at #Michigan (FREE): — Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) December 31, 2014

New MGoPost: Tim Drevno To Be Michigan\’s Offensive Coordinator

— mgoblog (@mgoblog) December 31, 2014

It also helps when Coach Drevno changed his Twitter profile (for a second; it\’s back to his USC handle for the time being):

Folks, we’re aware that Tim Drevno’s Twitter bio has been changed. Proof of the report: — The Big House Report (@TBHReport) January 2, 2015

Another name that is said to be headed to Ann Arbor from San Fransisco is wide receiver coach John Morton.

Per the Sacramento Bee: John Morton and Tim Drevno, a former 49ers Offensive line coach, are believed to be joining Harbaugh at #Michigan.

— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) December 31, 2014

However, Morton\’s name has yet to be confirmed:

Source has confirmed USC OL coach Tim Drevno to join Michigan’s staff. No confirmation on John Morton yet — Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) December 31, 2014

The biggest name out there for Michigan fans happens to be a former Wolverine star running back, current NFL assistant coach and father of a top 2015 recruit, Tyrone Wheatley.  With Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone opting out of his deal, it looks like Wheatley is an even better possibility for Michigan. The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas said Wheatley is “expected” to join Harbaugh\’s staff ($). While MGoBlog\’s Brian Cook listed him as \”probable\” to take over as the new running backs coach.  This would be a monster hire in terms of the run game, as well as recruiting. We\’ll have to see if he can get his son, Tyrone Jr,  to follow him to Ann Arbor. As for the defense, all signs are pointing to Florida\’s defensive coordinator and Harbaugh\’s staff member at Stanford, DJ Durkin.

DJ Durkin turned down the UNC defensive coordinator job today, is likely to take #Michigan DC job per source. — Clint Brewster (@clintbrew247) December 30, 2014

Durkin took over as the interim head coach for the Gators in their bowl game on January 3rd (he won and got a Gatorade shower) and is than said to be headed to Ann Arbor.

Durkin was one of, if not, the hottest defensive coordinator name on the market thanks to his ability to coach up the defense and the fact that he was the 2012 Rivals National Recruiter of the Year. And the news of him heading to Ann Arbor already has several top recruits looking to visit Michigan.

The other big name that has been rumored and looks to be joining Harbaugh\’s staff as the new recruiting coordinator and possible tight ends coach is Kentucky\’s Vince Marrow:

Confirmed that Harbaugh has offered a staff position to ace recruiter and Kentucky TE coach Vince Marrow (FREE):

— Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) January 3, 2015

Looks like Michigan may be hiring Kentucky TE coach/recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow. One of the best recruiters in country.

— Mark Cavitt (@DeportesAddict) January 3, 2015

While the Michigan reporters believe Marrow will join Harbaugh, there were several Kentucky reporters denying it:

Per source, Mark Stoops does not believe he\’s losing Vince Marrow to Michigan. The two are very close and Marrow is UK\’s recruiting ace.

— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) December 31, 2014

Vince Marrow turned down Michigan and is staying at Kentucky. #BBN — Patrick Loney (@PatrickLoney) January 2, 2015

However, with all respect to Patrick Loney, I doubt Marrow would head up to Ann Arbor and meet with Harbaugh if he wasn\’t ready to take the job. Also, The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas spoke with Kentuck Rivals\’ Justin Rowland about Morrow and he thinks Michigan has a real shot here ($):

\”From his standpoint, though, I think Michigan would be about the only job that has that appeal. He likes being close to Ohio – he has a lot of family there. He\’s close to family, and he thinks he would be able to get the best of the best at Michigan.\”

If Marrow does in fact accept Harbaugh\’s offer, that would be a HUGE get in terms of recruiting:

Vince Marrow has accounted for nearly a third (21/66) of all Kentucky\’s commitments over the last three cycles. Would be a devastating loss. — Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) January 3, 2015

Harbaugh is expecting to hear back from Marrow early next week.

The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas has a couple other names that are possibilities to be joining Harbaugh\’s staff ($), including Andy Moeller (Cleveland Browns\’ offensive line coach) and Kevin Tolbert (San Francisco 49ers assistant strength and conditioning coach) who both have very strong Michigan ties. Shannon Turley (Stanford\’s Director of Football Sports Performance) is another possibility.

Early Sunday UPDATE: In terms of Marrow, Go Blue Wolverine\’s Kyle Bogenschutz is reporting that Coach Marrow reached out to former Michigan commit Chris Clark and let him know he\’d like to coach him ($). This can only mean good things for Michigan.

As for Durkin, Sam Webb is reporting that he is in Ann Arbor today ($). This likely means he\’ll be officially joining Harbaugh\’s staff. Also, San Francisco 49ers DB coach, Greg Jackson is \”slated\” to be in Ann Arbor today ($).

Late Sunday UPDATE: Harbaugh is swinging for the fences.

According to Fox Sports\’ Bruce Feldman, Harbaugh is looking to bring in 2 of the best defensive coordinators in the country:

Am told Jim Harbaugh\’s pursuit of Lance Anderson is in line with him hoping to land LA & D.J. Durkin & retain Mattison at #Michigan

— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 4, 2015

If Harbaugh is able to land Stanford\’s Lance Anderson along with Florida\’s DJ Durkin and Greg Mattison, he\’ll have one of, if not, the best defensive coaching staffs in football:

Fun Fact: Lance Anderson (Stanford), D.J. Durkin (UF), and Greg Mattison (U-M) coordinated 3 of 15 best CFB defenses this year. — Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) January 4, 2015

While the defensive coaches are still up in the air, Harbaugh has landed Stanford\’s Director of Football Sports Performance Shannon Turley for the same job. MGoBlog\’s Brian Cook had much more on what Turley means for the Maize and Blue.

A Michigan commit said that Jim Harbaugh has poached Stanford sports performance director Shannon Turley to Michigan…..

— David Lombardi (@LombardiESPN) January 4, 2015

If Turley departure news is true, potentially devastating news for Stanford — countless players will say Turley built program\’s advantage

— David Lombardi (@LombardiESPN) January 4, 2015

It is not known yet if Kevin Tolbert is coming along with Turley but either way, Michigan will have one of the best S&C programs in the country. Welp, it looks like Marrow has changed his mind and is staying with Kentucky:

Vince Marrow reportedly will be staying with Kentucky. Michigan offered him a spot on their coaching staff. Huge for UK. #BBN — Brian Eldridge (@BriEldridge) January 5, 2015

This is very strange since he was already recruiting for Michigan earlier today. And now another name confirmed to Michigan looks to be heading back to his school:

I have more confirmation here that Shannon Turley is indeed staying at Stanford and not going to Michigan… What a rollercoaster afternoon

— David Lombardi (@LombardiESPN) January 5, 2015

This assistant coaching search is getting stranger and stranger.

So, for now, Harbaugh\’s staff will/could feature DJ Durkin (Co-DC/DL), Lance Anderson (Co-DC) Greg Mattison (LB), Roy Manning (OLB), Greg Jackson (DB), Tim Drevno (OC/OL), Andy Moeller (OL) Tyrone Wheatley (RB), John Morton (WR), Kevin Tolbert (S&C). That would be one of the best staff\’s in college football.

Garrett Fishaw