Gwen Bush/ Recruiting staff house cleaning info?

Submitted by JFW on February 12th, 2018 at 9:44 AM

I normally hate these kind of open question posts, so I apologize in advance, and am prepared to get some negs. But I'm very curious and I think its relevant to the state of the Football program.

In the Roundtable last Thursday Sam stated that the recruiting staff underwent a 'House cleaning'; with Gwen Bush gone, and Chris Partridge promoted. While I'm totally on board with giving Partridge as much influence as possible in recruiting, I'm not sure that the staff that helped us get two top 10 classes needed to be purged. 

And what happened with Momma Gwen? I looked at her Linked in page and she is still listed as a UM staffer. I did some google fu over the weekened and didn't see anything on staff upsets or Gwen Bush leaving. I think she was a big factor in some recruitiments. 

The lack of clarity and the talk of 'toxic atmospheres' (Bleacher Report) combined with Sam's 'House cleaning' is starting to get very worrisome to me. 

Does anyone have any more info? 




February 12th, 2018 at 10:29 AM ^

The Bleacher Report on toxic atmospheres was a link to a triple G article... so I wouldn't pay it any mind.

I don't have answers to his questions about Gwen Bush, but would not be surprised if it included internal reassignment that she actually prefers.

"What's going on" is that there is a football program, still building a solid foundation for something special, while also preparing to have a great football season in 2018.

Lookin' forward to Spring ball!


February 12th, 2018 at 2:27 PM ^

I hate to harp too much on tone, but you're suggesting the notion that it is predestined that they are building something special.  I hate that kind of posturing, because it enforces this false narrative that something special WILL happen.  There is a chance that, even given best intentions and efforts, they will fail.  That should scare people.  Suggesting that it will be a great football season just disavows that fear of failure.  People think that if they try hard, it will just work out in the end.  That's not how it works, and it leads to a lack of self evaluation. 


Am I reading too much into a message board post?  Yes.  I hear this same sort of inflated confidence in real-life, though, and it grates me.  I wouldn't want to work on the same team as someone who suggests that things will just work out if we try hard and think nice thoughts... shit fails, and it is way more likely in the absence of the belief that shit can fail...


February 12th, 2018 at 11:28 AM ^

could we please link it? Tried to find it myself but could not. 

I understand that BR has been a source of unreliable reporting, but if everyone is going to discuss it those who haven't read it are left out of the convo. Thanks in advance. 

EDIT: Found the link. Some above say the article lacks credibility so I will only make two brief comments. One, it makes a lot of very specific observations that, whether right or wrong, do not look like they could have been invented from whole cloth. Two, it says that Harbaugh is depressed; that is my observation, too. Compare the elated Harbaugh in his intro presser at Michigan with the guy commenting on signings the other day.


Space Coyote

February 12th, 2018 at 12:23 PM ^

Here's why:

  1. I think Gregg Henson relies heavily on shit against the preverbial wall. His past has indicated as much.
  2. Harbaugh doesn't put the OC language in Enos contract if he is "too attached to Drevno". There is a reason that language existed.
  3. "Sources" that calim no one understands how Drevno remains employed sounds like complete BS. Harbaugh would have given his rational to those that needed that input. He doesn't operate in a vacuum. If anything, it's at least clear that Harbaugh still doesn't believe play calling was the primary issue in Michigan's struggles. It's not that difficult to understand.
  4. I'd find that I'd believe very few sources that claim "coaches as dismayed that [Drevno]... keeps Harbaugh's confidence". That's just not something coaches are regularly telling other people within the AD. I find it particularly hard to believe that Henson is the one hearing from those sources.
  5. I can actually believe the Frey issues. I don't don't there were issues on the staff or issues with how some things were handled. I can believe this one in particular, though many of these sounds like "it looks like there are issues, like this one thing could mean that, ok, so that one thing means that." To also cite that Frey left the program because of those issues is misguided, he returned to his alma mater to be the lone OL coach, a move he likely would have made regardless of what happened at Michigan.
  6. The decision to move Drevno to the field doesn't match up with the rational. If they don't see eye-to-eye, moving him down to the field doesn't help communication, or improve the issue. The vastly more likely reason is that having the OL coach on the field is very important. So this doesn't ring true. Fisch also didn't make a lateral move, he moved on to be the lone OC at UCLA.
  7. "Drevno doesn't get along with anybody...' my source said." Now it's one source. Before it was sources. Which is it? He worked with a bunch of people, and keeps getting jobs, I find it hard to believe Harbaugh has stuck with a guy this long if he doesn't "earn trust". Coaches are tight. They aren't tight with people that don't earn the trust of their peers. That's not how the coaching mind works.
  8. "Harbaugh is suffering from a crisis of confidence..." Harbaugh may have second guessed some decisions, everyone does. That's called self-reflection. I don't doubt he has reflected on teh 2016 season a lot, because Michigan was damn close. In fact, they were a foot away from likely going to the CFP. So, is the self-reflection some regrets? Maybe. Is it a crisis in confidence that he's doing a bunch wrong within the program? Doubtful. I could also see him second guessing how he managed the 2017 season. But that also isn't a "crisis of confidence", which sounds like a loaded phrase someone uses because it's a loaded phrase.
  9. Don't disagree that the coaching staff needs to come together and be finalized and everyone put on the same page. I personally wasn't a huge fan of how the passing game went last year (they reduced the number of concepts, relied heavily on crossing/mesh concepts which adapt to multiple coverages, but are expensive concepts, that need to be executed well, and they weren't executed that well...). So yeah, they need to reassess and gameplan how they want to approach next season, as they need to do every off-season.
  10. Donors and admin may be losing confidence between Harbaugh hasn't fired Drevno. Sure, I can believe that. That doesn't really mean much overall for problems within the staff though. All that indicates is that people rightfully are upset with the O performance last year and they want someone held accountable. Sometimes just firing people isn't the correct answer, even if people think blood is necessary. If the O is headed in the right direction in 2018, much is forgotten.
  11. Naming Warinner the OC isn't the answer. If that's what a "former player" told him, I don't trust that former player (and who is this former player and what are his connections, because really I don't put much stock into what Braylon has to say here).  Warinner would make a great OL coach, and if I had to put money on it I'd predict he is in 2019. 
  12. A source indicating where the problems were sounds like he's speaking for himself. There were way more problems than just coordination, so I can tell you for certain that information didn't come from a coach or someone on the staff. Tolbert may be a scapegoat for the bad offense, though I think there is more to that move than just that (and a new strength coach isn't going to appease enough people who want blood, so the move doesn't make sense for that sort of scapegoating).

So yeah, I'm sure there is an over-aching narrative here that has some truth. The examples, put together, don't really do much for me though on the detailed level. Gregg Henson's name being on it doesn't help either.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:51 AM ^

Well, since this 2018 UM FB recruiting class was literally the worst recruiting class - not just in the history of college football, but in the history of organized athletics, even worse than the year Sparta failed to bring a single naked wrestler into their 414 BCE class - some housecleaning was probably needed... 


February 12th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

I listened to a podcast this weekend that was (I thought) a really good take on the current recruiting class. Yes, losing the last few guys on signing days was disappointing, but we still had a good class, and as the guys say 'Michigan fans predictably lost their shit...'.

I'm really thrilled for some of the kids coming on line. I do wish they'd recruit OT more heavily, but I think the kids coming in will be very solid addiitons. 


February 12th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^

I do agree with Brian to an extent, that this particular class, in a vacuum, is not on a level that's going to compete with OSU. And it's unlikely to improve if the 2018 season doesn't show massive improvement. However, it is still, and will always be worth pointing out that this class was about even with his best recruiting class at Stanford. So...


February 12th, 2018 at 10:12 AM ^

We've been behind OSU for a bit, and this instability is really concerning to me. 

But it has been true for awhile that the only way we'll catch up with OSU is to take lower ranked guys and coach them up. 

I'd feel much much better about that if the O line had been consistently improving. 2018 will be a big year for player development, among many other things. 

I'm not bad mouthing Harbaugh, I'm 100% with keeping in his corner, I guess just voicing concerns. 

scanner blue

February 12th, 2018 at 12:37 PM ^

Coon is majoring in Aerospace Engineering at Michigan---smart guy.

Coon has been on B1G All Academic teams---VERY smart guy.

Coon just beat an Olympic medalist and NCAA champion--maybe olympic wrestling is in his future not offensive line. (or grad school and a real neato job ---I'm a Rocket Scientist!)



February 12th, 2018 at 10:04 AM ^

You do realize there is some space between "worst recruiting class in the history of sports" and "all is well, why are you worried/talking about it" right?

What bothers me is there is clearly a ton of smoke pouring from the windows of our recruiting house and yet when people like the OP raise perfectly legitimate questions about the smoke they're met with these types of responses.   I know you're just trying to be funny and mean no harm but man, I sure see the situation as warranting concern at the very least rather than being completely dissmissive of the questions.


February 12th, 2018 at 10:09 AM ^

know you are not responding to me, but I think at this point people can react with those kinds of sarcastic quips but also be alarmed at the same time.  At this point, I joke about people freaking out but I myself am 100% convinced that there are notable problems within our football program right now that are probably not easily fixable.

NYC Fan3

February 12th, 2018 at 10:18 AM ^

This is Faux Mo's typical posting history though.  Offers nothing to the conversation, deters from OPs statement, shares his sarcastic wit in nearly every thread.

I get it, this is a message board and this isn't serious business, but some of the users that feel the need to be heard in every thread get exhausting.  Get an account on Reddit and be sarcastic on there with the rest of the world.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:56 AM ^

Gwen Bush is Wayne Lyons mother, correct? Maybe she wasn't as good at "selling" since Wayne never really played at Michigan? Maybe Harbaugh is hiring another kid's mom to recruit? Who knows.

OP, you ask good questions, but nobody on this board has any actual answere (although you will get the "my friend, who is' XXX father said...".

Mr Miggle

February 12th, 2018 at 10:28 AM ^

Some of the recruiting staff left for better jobs after the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Chris Partridge went from director of player personnel to LB coach. His replacement, Tony Tuioti went from director of player personnel to LB coach at Cal.Sean Magee got hired away from Navy last year to replace Tuioti. I believe he's still in that role, but it sounds like Partridge may be reclaiming some of his former responsibilities.

There's been a lot of regular turnover among support staff. Jimmy Daugherty got offered as an Assistant coach at Oregon. Rick Finotti is the HC at John Carroll. Bam Richards went back to coaching high school.

For the most part, these are stepping stone jobs that no ones stays in for very long. We're probably not going to hear too much about departures from them, but they happen for a wide variety of reasons.