Michigan Football Preview 2015

2015 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 18 of 163

THE WOLVERINE 2015 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 17 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Jim Harbaugh Is 69th Former Player To Coach At Michigan When Michigan introduced Jim Harbaugh as its head coach Dec. 30, Harbaugh became the 69th former player in school history to then wear a whistle at his alma mater, but only the sixth to assume the mantle of head coach, according to research done by historian Bob Rosiek. Harbaugh joins Gus Ferbert, Harry Kipke, Tad Wieman, Bennie Oosterbaan and Bump Elliott as former Wolverine players to then become the general of the football program. Ferbert was a halfback from 1893-96 before taking over as head coach for three years from 1897-99, going 24-3-1 with a first-place finish in 1898. Wieman was a guard in 1916-17 and 1920, and then coached Michigan for two seasons from 1927-28, posting a 6-2 mark in his first year before leaving U-M after a 3-4-1 record in year two. Kipke played halfback from 1921-23, garnering All-America honors in 1922, and was the head coach from 1929-37, winning Big Ten titles in 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1933, and the national title in 1933. A three-time All-American end from 1925-27, Oosterbaan was the head coach from 1948-58, winning a national championship in his debut season and Big Ten titles in 1948, 1949 and 1950. Overall, he accumulated a record of 63-33-4. Finally, Elliott was a halfback from 1946-47, an All-American in 1947, and would then replace Oosterbaan in 1959, staying on for 10 years before handing the reins over to Bo Schem- bechler in 1969. He won a Big Ten crown in 1964, but enjoyed an up-and-down tenure with five winning seasons and five losing seasons. In each case but Ferbert (and now Harbaugh), the eventual head coaches held an assistant coaching post at U-M first. "For the Michigan fan who has (almost) everything" Little Brown Jug Replica The Paul Bunyan Trophy replica www.rivalrytrophy.com Lindy's Sports This publication leaves little doubt about the Harbaugh effect, listing Michigan's head coach fifth among college football's best, one ahead of MSU's Mark Dantonio. It also puts Michigan at No. 4 among the nation's teams "making strong moves in the right direction." Under the latter heading, Lindy's states: "It'll be a rapid climb for the Wolverines, who could be in the playoff picture as soon as 2017. But already we wonder: How long can a coach as tightly wound as Jim Harbaugh stay anywhere — even at his alma mater?" Under the coaches rankings, it adds: "Sparty Nation isn't going to like this, but you know what? Jimmy Football's work with the 49ers counts, too. And he was masterful before that at Stanford." The magazine features a lengthy feature on Harbaugh by Dennis Dodd, part of which states: "Michigan nailed it with Harbaugh. They know that around here. After watch- ing the program languish for the last seven years under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, any other replacement would have been a disappointment. "They beat out the power and glory of life in the NFL by offering a rebuild. That, and a triumphant trip back to his roots. And he stuck the landing." The publication kept pouring it on in the "Coaching Changes" section, gushing: "There's no reason to pre- tend this wasn't the grand-slam hire of all hires, right? Harbaugh reinvented the wheel at Stanford and then kicked it up a notch with the 49ers. No one else would have given Michigan fans reason to believe that toppling Urban Meyer and Ohio State is possible. The Buckeyes are far ahead of their rivals entering 2015, but watch the gap close quickly and dramatically. The Wolverines went tragi- cally soft under Rich Rodriguez and then Hoke. Harbaugh will gnaw off his own khakis before he lets that continue." Of course, then follows the attendant 2015 reality. The publication picks OSU No. 1 in the nation, with MSU No. 6. It does have U-M within shouting distance of the top 25, at No. 29, and insists, "This fixer-upper won't take long after team went 46-42 post-Lloyd Carr." Cole, who shows up at No. 74 on Lindy's list of the na- tion's top incoming 100 freshmen, will help. And among the player ratings, Peppers checks in as the nation's No. 9 safety. The Wolverines get the nod for No. 3 in the Big Ten East, behind the Buckeyes and Spartans. Under "Our Call," the publication predicts: "It's only a matter of time before the Wolverines pull off that first mega-upset." Butt is listed as a first-team All-Big Ten tight end, with Peppers a first-team defensive back. Sophomore tackle Mason Cole makes the second team as an offensive line- man, with junior Jourdan Lewis a third-team defensive back. Of the incoming freshmen, Cole is No. 4 in the Big Ten and Gentry No. 20. Cole is also listed as Michigan's "Top Newcomer." The publication sounds a familiar theme regarding the Wolverines. They're a crew to watch carefully this year and beyond, but they've got a whole lot of questions to answer in the short term. "The arrival of Harbaugh sent Michigan fans into a state of euphoria," Lindy's observes. "Now, the reality: Michigan has to break in a new quarterback to a new system, and fix an offense that bottomed out last season. If Michigan can find a way to keep its talented defense out of no-win situ- ations, the win total should rise in 2015. How much? Not high enough to catch Ohio State in the East. But second place can't be ruled out." Former Players Turned Assistant Coaches (1965-2015) Coach Years Playing Years Pos. Hank Fonde 1959-68 1945-47 HB Dennis Fitzgerald 1963-68 1959-60 HB Bill Dodd 1966-68 1962-63 HB George Mans 1967-68 1959-61 E Frank Maloney 1968-73 1961 C Louie Lee 1969 1964-66 DB Dennis Brown 1972-79 1967-68 QB Tim Davis 1980 1973-75 MG Jerry Meter 1980-86 1976-78 ILB Les Miles 1980-81, 1987-94 1974-75 G Bob Thornbladh 1980-85 1971-73 FB Billy Harris 1986-94 1968-70 SE Jim Herrmann 1988-2005 1980-82 ILB Erik Campbell 1995-2007 1984-87 DB Scott Loeffler 2002-07 1993-96 QB Andy Moeller 2002-07 1983-86 ILB Curt Mallory 2011-14 1988-91 ILB Tyrone Wheatley 2015 1991-94 TB * This is an abbreviated list of former players that became assistant coaches, detailing only the last 50 years. Harbaugh (left) was teamamtes with Andy Moeller (right), who went on to be an as- sistant coach for the Wolverines from 2002-07. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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