June 19, 2024

Michigan seeks for a new football coach following Jim Harbaugh’s decision to leave the Wolverines after nine seasons for the Los Angeles Chargers job. Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore, who led the Wolverines to a win over Ohio State last season in Harbaugh’s absence, is among the frontrunners on the program’s list of candidates, according to CBS Sports reporter Dennis Dodd.

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Dodd reported Wednesday the Wolverines intend to “cast a wide net” to fill the vacancy left by Harbaugh, who won several Big Ten titles and a national championship during his tenure.

As noted by 247Sports reporter Chris Hummer, hiring Moore would undoubtedly minimize the potential number of transfer portal departures bound to happen following Harbaugh’s move. Michigan players, including members of the 2024 signing class, are eligible to leave during the 30-day window with the head-coaching change. How many choose to do so remains to be seen.

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Per Dodd, here are some of Michigan’s names to know:

SHERRONE MOORE, MICHIGAN OC

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Moore will be a head coach in college football very soon. Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider told 247Sports Sunday that maintaining “the Michigan way” is top priority and there is an easy choice to make, if needed.

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“The next best option (if Harbaugh signs an NFL contract) for preserving the culture is hiring Harbaugh’s no. 1 assistant, and that’s Sherrone Moore,” Webb said. “Sherrone has been at Michigan six years, and in that time worked his way up from tight ends coach, to offensive line coach, to coordinator. He coached a unit that won the Joe Moore award two years in a row. He was the guy under fire at the end of the season, and not just as a stand in.

“He had to make battlefield decisions on the road against Penn State when his offense couldn’t block the Nittany Lions’ pass rush, and he changed the game plan on the fly in a winning way. Then, two weeks later, he made aggressive, game-winning decisions against Ohio State.”

RELATED: The case for Moore as a head-coaching candidate

Moore held various roles at Michigan and excelled in all of them, eventually leading to his sparkling showing as interim head coach this season during Harbaugh’s absence. Not only did Moore help Michigan beat Penn State without Harbaugh, but the Wolverines managed to avoid an upset against Maryland on the road and took out previously-unbeaten Ohio State to clinch another berth in the Big Ten title game with him leading the charge.

“I think Michigan’s administration saw enough to say while they’ll do a search and talk to national people, their respect for the job that Sherrone has done and their belief that he can carry on Jim Harbaugh’s culture makes him the overwhelming favorite to become Michigan’s next coach if Harbaugh goes to the NFL,” Webb said.

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Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter crafted a near-flawless game plan for the national championship game this month and his players executed with precision, shutting down potent offensive juggernaut Washington. And after a terrific unbeaten season, Minter joined Harbaugh as another Michigan coach suggested for NFL vacancies. Certainly he stays at Michigan if offered the job, right? Even before the 2023 season began, Minter was routinely mentioned within coaching of his possible head-coaching candidacy in the near future. He signed a contract extension in April after the Wolverines ranked No. 5 in total defense, allowing just 292.1 yards per game in 2022 during first season in Ann Arbor. And now, he stamped the end of his second campaign with the nation’s top-rated units in scoring and total defense as one of college football’s most-prized assistants.

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