Hello: Josh Gattis, Apparent Offensive Coordinator Comment Count

Brian January 10th, 2019 at 3:39 PM

Per Chris Vannini, Michigan's filled a hole they don't appear to have:

Michigan: Alabama co-offensive coordinator / wide receivers coach Josh Gattis will be named offensive coordinator at Michigan, people with direct knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic’s Chris Vannini and Bruce Feldman. Gattis spent one year at Alabama and previously worked at Penn State. At Alabama, Gattis directed one of the top wide receiver groups in college football.

Compounding the oddity here is that Maryland hired him three hours ago.

Gattis is a 34-year-old who played safety at Wake Forest and had a cup of coffee in the NFL after being drafted in the fifth round. Before Alabama hired him away to be the WR coach and co-offensive coordinator—whatever that means—he'd been James Franklin's WR coach at both Vandy and PSU. Mike Locksley, the other co-OC, took the Maryland job and was apparently set to bring Gattis along before this abrupt about-face.

[After THE JUMP: I'm just warning you there is a picture of Allen Robinson but now we can feel good about it!]

Saban on Gattis, FWIW:

“Josh is a very, very good coach,” Nick Saban said in October “He’s a very bright guy. He has been in some good systems. He has a good understanding of the big picture offensively. He’s very technical in terms of how he coaches and teaches his players and he’s got a really good personality.

“He can confront guys when they are not doing things the way they are supposed to do them, and I think that has created a lot of consistency in our receivers and improved their toughness. We have some good players and he has got them playing well.”

Pros: Gattis is highly sought, having bounced from PSU to Alabama and then getting intercepted beforehand. PSU's WR corps was excellent for the duration of his tenure…


[Bryan Fuller]

…and dropped off significantly after he left. The Alabama WRs were part of the most explosive passing offense in college football this side of Kyler Murray, and to whatever extent he co-OC'd said offense that's good. Given Locksley's track record and Gattis getting to asborb some of Joe Moorhead, chances are good that he had a major say.

Also, Gattis has the requisite recruiting rep:

On top of his coaching efforts, Gattis was also viewed as one of Alabama’s top recruiters. He helped the Crimson Tide land five-star defensive lineman Antonio Alfano as well as four-star receiver John Metchie and four-star defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe in this year’s class.

And he's definitely played Madden and can only hope with the whole "maybe play fast sometimes" thing.

Cons: last year's Alabama offense was his only year with any kind of coordinator title. There are probably dozens of coaches who could have lit up college football with Tua Tagovailoa and friends. Also… if you're Alabama why not just bump him up to OC and keep him? Going to Michigan is one thing. Maryland?

This is kind of a swing in the dark but Gattis is the hot name and sure why the hell not. There is now another shoe to drop: unless Michigan plans on dropping a defensive assistant—highly unlikely—this presages an exit or reassignment from the offensive staff. Pep Hamilton has been interviewing and spotted at some NFL games and seems like the most likely departure.



January 10th, 2019 at 4:38 PM ^

So our offensive staff:
- HC / QB Whisperer
- AHC / QB coach / Pass Game Coordinator / playcaller
- OC / WR guy / reported playcaller

Seems like some overlap here. 

bye Pep

(i know there's also Jaybaugh and Ed W)


January 10th, 2019 at 4:44 PM ^

found on twitter, unverified guy who calls himself a spartan insider but may not be

A source is telling me that Michigan’s QB coach Pep Hamilton could possibly be coming to East Lansing based on the offer Michigan State presents. I’m unable to confirm this at this point. More to come.

— SpartanCenter Network (@SpartanCenterig) January 10, 2019


January 10th, 2019 at 4:46 PM ^

College football coaching is so odd.  A guy can play football thru college, basically retire from football after an NFL minute, go to 3 different schools coaching a position he never played, then wind up being paid millions to be offensive coordinator at Michigan....at 34 years old.

Kingsbury gets fired from TT and months  later is a head coach in the NFL.  None of it makes any sense.  Sports make no sense.

That being said, please make our offense better!


January 10th, 2019 at 4:54 PM ^

FWIW - perhaps I'm being pedantic but the Robinson picture doesn't really make sense in the context of this article. There was no overlap at PSU between Robinson and Gattis.

Gattis did overlap with the likes of Chris Godwin and DeSean Hamilton.


January 10th, 2019 at 5:04 PM ^

Anyone else's head spinning after Mattison to OSU one day, Washington to OSU the next, now Gattis to Maryland at noon and then to Michigan at 3 pm...  Not to mention the talk about Don Brown, now blown over thankfully.  Of course, Dan Enos was here and gone after a few months last spring-summer.  Seems like college football's version of the shell game!  Hopefully, everyone gets better and especially M.  Sounds good after almost two hours.  Lots of speculation about his duties.  Looking forward to a Harbaugh press conference introduction to know it's real.  Wait a minute...  who's next??


January 10th, 2019 at 5:04 PM ^

So, current staff:

Head Coach - Harbaugh

OC - Gattis

AHC/Passing Coord/QB - Pep

RB/ST - JayBaugh

TE - Moore

OL - Warinner

DC - Brown

CB - Zordich

S/ST - Partridge

So, there's still two spots which means either McDaniels isn't getting the WR job and Gattis is handling that or Pep is out the door with Jim taking the QBs and they just need to hire DL and LB coaches.


January 10th, 2019 at 5:11 PM ^

Also… if you're Alabama why not just bump him up to OC and keep him? Going to Michigan is one thing. Maryland?


yeah, this really concerns me. Their co-OC wasn’t their guy to step up when the other co-OC was hired away? 


January 10th, 2019 at 5:23 PM ^

Coach Gattis is that catalyst for offensive change - young, aggressive and good recruiter.

Hope we can keep Coach Ed to build a lasting improvement to our OL group. 

Maybe Harbaugh names those two guys co-OCs.   Would be a good mix of talents and Coach Ed could help develop Gattis as a coordinator.


January 10th, 2019 at 5:29 PM ^

One positive for those of us who were hoping for a shift in mindset and some ceding of control over the offense by Harbaugh: Gattis has no prior ties to Harbaugh or Michigan and likely wouldn't have come without an assurance that he would be handed the keys and given control over the playcalling. In other words, his title of offensive coordinator doesn't appear to be merely ceremonial as was the case with Drevno. 


January 10th, 2019 at 6:03 PM ^

This is all good.

Harbaugh brings in someone who is passing game focused (WR coach) and will have some different ideas...like those that worked this year at Alabama.

He's also young, so he's bound to have a different perspective, but he has worked in a passing game that coexists with a pretty good ground game.  So, he understands getting some sort of balance with run/pass and when to lean one way or the other.

A good recruiter, so he checks that box, too.

We'll have to see if this changes how actual play calling works.  He could be Jedd Fisch 2.0 which is fine with me and probably many others around here.  Jedd did fine in the play calling structure Harbaugh had in 2015.


January 10th, 2019 at 6:11 PM ^

The Wikipedia page for Gattis is already updated. 

When I was doing the bowl attendance thing (see Diaries) I grabbed attendance figures from pages created for each bowl game.  People were updating those pages moments after each score, and moments after the final gun sounded.  

I am not normally an optimist, but for this Gattis hire I choose to believe it's a good thing.


January 10th, 2019 at 7:37 PM ^

Glad to hear this..Pep was horrible or HB had restrains on him to the point he couldnt do what he wanted to do...either way HB better wake up and realize the days of 3 TE formation is over!!!! if Nick Saban can swallow his pride and go 4 WR's and still use the TE then HB better wake his ASprin up and beat our rivals and win a meaningful bowl game.....

Mpfnfu Ford

January 10th, 2019 at 8:01 PM ^

Well he was rumored to be going to Maryland with Locksley, so it wasn't just Maryland out of nowhere. 

This is the exact kind of hire I was wanting Michigan to make. Warriner definitely made a marked improvement on the offense, but he proved at Ohio State you don't want him too involved in playcalling. Having someone from the kind of offense Michigan should emulate who is under the age of 50 on staff is a big upgrade from the brigade of failed pro style guys who either never got the HC job they wanted or got it and failed.


January 11th, 2019 at 2:11 PM ^

The situation at Ohio State when Ed Warinner was there, and Co-OC with Beck is very similar to what we had here this year in regard to play calling input.  In 2015, Urban kept Ed down on the field, handling OL rotations and short yardage/goal line running game input with Beck up in the booth, and UFM making the majority of the calls.  Add that this was when Smith was in the middle of his issues, and all the distractions to both players and staff that came along with that mess.

Despite having nearly the entire championship team intact, it wasn't until after losing in Cbus to Sparty and a back-up QB (prompting Zeke Elliott's post game press meltdown about how dysfunctional the play calling situation was) that Ed W. was finally put up in the booth and given the keys to the car.  Game plan, play card, play calling, the works.  They promptly laid 86 points on very good Michigan and ND teams, and looked like the NC again...tempo, scripted sequences, balanced play calling, plays forcing the defense to deal with all your weapons on the field at once.  The loss to Sparty kept them out of the playoffs, and you know damn well Urban wasn't going to take the blame.

That said, that's college football.  Ed W. had to deal with the conditions/limitations imposed by UFM, gets rolled by Clemson and is encouraged to move on.  Day gets rolled by Clemson, Iowa and Purdue and gets the HC gig.  Ed has a fantastic offensive mind, and is more than capable of getting this offense where it needs to be to get to the next level.  He's been there, won there, knows what it takes to get there.  Ed was allowed to function as a pure OC at OSU for exactly 2 games, in 2016 it went right back to OC by committee.


January 10th, 2019 at 9:07 PM ^

I wouldn't read too much into him being at Alabama for a short time; Saban seems to move through coaches the way he does players, and more times than not you don't even get a shot unless you are pretty good.  I know it's against the rules to speak highly of McElwain, but he was a coach with Saban at Alabama and had success there as well.

Excited to get a young guy who can recruit, and if he speeds up the offense a bit that's a plus.


January 10th, 2019 at 10:54 PM ^

So which job is the worst and why? 

  • Offensive Coordinator for the University of Michigan Football team
  • Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Academy


January 11th, 2019 at 1:37 AM ^

Most excited about what he may be able to accomplish with our ridiculous receiver talent. Those guys are starting to show out, but my opinion, could still be SOOOoooo much more than they are. We have a core that extremely talented, and extremely good, but they could be epic level great with the right direction. There was improvement this last year, there should have been more. These guys have all american potential, and that hasn't been unlocked yet.