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Michigan promotes assistants to co-offensive coordinator, hires Vanderbilt defensive boss

Michigan recently found itself tasked with filling both coordinator positions on the heels of a Big Ten championship and first-ever trip to the College Football Playoff in the 2021 season. The Wolverines have now completed that task. The program announced on Wednesday that it has promoted quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss to co-offensive coordinator, where he will join offensive line coach Sherrone Moore in the role. Additionally, the program has hired Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Jesse Minter for the same position. 

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh made the changes after losing both offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald amid his flirting with NFL jobs — particularly the Minnesota Vikings, with whom he took an interview on National Signing Day. Gattis left to join Mario Cristobal as the new offensive coordinator at Miami, while Macdonald headed to take a coordinator job in the NFL. 

“We have great chemistry among the coaches on our offensive staff,” Harbaugh said. “The teamwork has been exceptional. Everyone has been integral to our offensive success and each coach’s contribution has and will continue to be valued. Coach Sherrone Moore and Coach Matt Weiss will share play-calling duties with our objective being to maximize our players’ talents and put them in the best position to be successful. I am excited about the leadership and coaching of our offensive staff.”

Neither Weiss nor Moore have called plays at the FBS level in their careers. Minter worked under defensive-minded coach Clark Lea at Vanderbilt but has experience as a defensive coordinator at both Georgia State and Indiana State. The Commodores ranked No. 118 in total defense but faced a total rebuild in Year 1. 

Funnily enough, the coaching changes feature a wave of swaps between Harbaugh’s Michigan staff and his brother’s, John, with the Baltimore Ravens. Macdonald left to take the defensive coordinator job with the Ravens after he previously served in several defensive roles on the Baltimore staff. 

Conversely, Minter has only coached one year at Vanderbilt after four years on the Ravens staff as a defensive assistant, so having familiarity with the system was a strong draw for Michigan. Weiss worked in various roles on the Ravens staff between 2009 and 2020 before joining the Wolverines as quarterbacks coach. Now, he will get an opportunity to put his spin on things. 

“It is an honor to be joining Coach Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan,” Minter said. “I am excited to work alongside our coaches in helping the players reach their maximum potential on and off the field. I look forward to building great relationships with the players and staff and can’t wait to get to work representing the program. My family and I are excited to join the Ann Arbor and university community. Go Blue!”

Gattis won the Broyles Award as the best assistant coach in college football after leading the Wolverines to the Big Ten’s best rushing offense. Macdonald developed defensive end Aidan Hutchinson into a Heisman finalist and held Ohio State to just 27 points in the Wolverines’ first victory in The Game since 2011. With Macdonald’s departure, Michigan will have its third defensive coordinator in three seasons.

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