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After Jim Harbaugh, Michigan football coaching job candidates and pluses, minuses

Michigan is on the hunt for a new head coach as Jim Harbaugh is set to take over as the head coach for the Los Angeles Chargers. Harbaugh leaves a legacy at Michigan, securing a national championship, three consecutive Big Ten championships, and three consecutive wins against Ohio State. With the coaching position up for grabs, there are several factors to consider for the next candidate.

Overview of the Michigan Job:

The coaching position at Michigan is now regarded as one of the best in the nation, thanks to Harbaugh’s successful tenure. The Wolverines have become a national championship program, showcasing the ability to compete at the highest level. Despite the departure of key players to the NFL, there is a foundation in place for success, making it an enticing job for potential candidates.

Rebuilding Phase:

While there will be a need for rebuilding after losing star players, there are strong pieces in place, including returning talents like Donovan Edwards, Colston Loveland, Mason Graham, and Will Johnson. The success of the program is not solely dependent on individual players but on a solid system and coaching.

Resource Advantage:

Michigan boasts significant resources, ranking 11th nationally in football expenses. However, the challenge lies in the evolving landscape of NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) recruiting. Michigan’s recent national championship was achieved without consistently having top-ranked recruiting classes. The question arises whether the program can sustain its development-focused approach or if it needs to shift to recruiting at the level of powerhouses like Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State.

 Potential Coaching Candidates:

The coaching search is expected to consider internal options, with offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore being a strong contender. Other internal options include defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and running backs coach Mike Hart.

External candidates may include successful coaches like Lance Leipold from Kansas, Chris Klieman from Kansas State, Todd Monken, and Mike Macdonald from the Baltimore Ravens. Coaches like Matt Campbell from Iowa State, Brian Kelly from LSU, Luke Fickell from Wisconsin, and Dave Clawson from Wake Forest could also be considered.

Ultimately, the decision will hinge on finding a coach who can continue the program’s success, navigate the evolving recruiting landscape, and build on the foundation laid by Jim Harbaugh.

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