Sherrone Moore leads candidates to replace Jim Harbaugh at Michigan
The Jim Harbaugh Era at Michigan is finally over.
After nine seasons with the Wolverines that culminated in a College Football Playoff win, Harbaugh is going back to the NFL and taking over the Chargers’ head coaching job.
After weeks of speculation and interviews with professional clubs, Harbaugh has finally decided to leave his alma mater after an impressive run.
Now, the question is, who will replace Harbaugh at Michigan?
Here’s a look at some of the early candidates that could take over in Ann Arbor.
According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, Moore is the favorite to take over the position.
The Michigan offensive coordinator already has some head coaching experience with the Wolverines, leading the team in four games this past season.
4Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Washington Huskies during the 2024 CFP National Championship game. Getty ImagesAfter Harbaugh was suspended for the first three games of 2023 by the school over complaints over a recruiting violation, Moore filled in for the final contest, a win over Bowling Green.
Moore, who’s held various assistant coaching roles at Michigan since 2018, then stepped in over the final three regular season games as acting head coach when the Big Ten suspended Harbaugh over the infamous sign-stealing scandal that saw former staffer Connor Stalions resign.
He went 3-0 in that span, helping Michigan close out an undefeated regular season.
Michigan’s offense ranked second in the Big Ten with 35.9 points per game and fifth in total yards per contest (382.7).
4Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore watches an NCAA college football practice on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. APHe previously coached at Louisville (2009-13), first as a graduate assistant and then as a tight ends coach, and at Central Michigan at both a tight ends coach and assistant head coach (2014-17).
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported in December, and Thamel on Wednesday noted that Leipold, who has had successful runs at Buffalo and Kansas, is in the mix of names.
Leipold led Buffalo to three bowl appearances before taking over a beleaguered Kansas program.
After a two-win season in 2021, Leipold has turned the Jayhawks around, mostly recently leading the team to a 9-4 record and a Guaranteed Rate Bowl win.
4Kansas coach Lance Leipold holds up the trophy after the team’s 49-36 win over UNLV in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, in Phoenix. APThis past season’s highlights included a stunning upset win over Oklahoma to break an 18-game losing streak against the Sooners.
Leipold is 54-54 as a head coach at the Division I level.
The coach already made one high-profile move when he bolted from Notre Dame to LSU in 2022.
The Athletic reported that if Kelly could get his name in the mix to coach the Wolverines, he could go for it.
4LSU head coach Brian Kelly celebrates after the team defeated Wisconsin during the ReliaQuest Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. APSince leaving the Fighting Irish, Kelly has racked up back-to-back 10-win seasons, most recently leading a Tigers offense that led the NCAA with 45.5 points and 543.5 yards per game.
Defense has been an issue, though, as LSU allowed the third-most points per game (27.8) in the SEC.
According to Thamel, Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman and Wake Forrest head coach Dave Clawson are also among the names to look out for.
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