Some new OC ideas - Please post yours

Submitted by Ron Utah on January 4th, 2018 at 2:28 PM

The rumor mill is in full swing, and it appears as few as one offensive coach could be returning.  My guess is that the returning coach is Jay Harbaugh.  It now appears that Al Washington has been hired.

umbig11 has noted that JH is looking for offensive minds the same way he found Don Brown--looking for the best offenses in the country to poach top-flight coaches.  In that spirit, I stopped listening to rumors and started researching the top offensive minds that might be compatible with Michigan.

After a quick scan of the top P5 offenses, here are three names I believe would be great choices for our new OC.  In order to keep this conversation somewhat realistic, there are some key criteria: 1) Cannot be current OC at blueblood program.  2) Cannot be coaching at their alma mater as an OC/HC.  3) Cannot be an OC of a "spread-to-run" offense where the QB is a featured runner.

  • Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State OC/QB - Yurcich is one of the top offensive minds in the country.  He is an Ohio native, went to school in PA, and coaching in IN and PA before moving to OK State.  While his spread system would be a drastic departure from UM's current philosophy, it does not focus on a running QB.  I do believe we have the personnel to run this system.
  • Mike Norvell, Memphis HC - Norvell's offense at Memphis was #4 in total offense, #2 in scoring offense, and #4 in S&P+.  The former ASU OC runs a pro/spread hybrid.  His OC, Darrell Dickey, was just hired as TAMU's OC by Jimbo Fisher.  The run game coordinator/OL coach, Ryan Silverfield, would be another intriguing hire.
  • Phil Longo, Ole Miss OC/QB - What if Shea Patterson could run the same offense at Michigan?  Ole Miss boasted the #9 S&P+ offense in 2017, Longo's first year as OC.  Longo grew up in NJ and has coached in MN, OH, PA, and IL.  More recently, he rewrote the record books at FCS Sam Houston State, amassing over 6,500 yards in 2016--over 4,500 passing and 2,000 rushing.

Of these three, my top choice would be Norvell, as I believe he is the most compatible with our current style and personnel.  But any of them would be quantum leap forward.



January 4th, 2018 at 5:24 PM ^

I hope we're actually talking about a case of right idea, different league. 

What do we need? Good offense, but especially good rushing offense. When we rush for 125+ we win. 

If you look at NFL team rushing the last several years, Buffalo's 2015-2016 was ridiculously good... largely due to OC Greg Roman!! (he was a sacrificial lamb on the altar of Rex Ryan in Sept 2016, but that was still his offense).

Harbaugh assistant @Stanford (Broyles award finalist!!) AND 49'ers (resurrected their offense as OC), and more recently brother OC for brother John.

His name has already come up and I sure as @#$^%@#$ hope this one comes through!!

Can you imagine a good rushing offense, marching down the field at a snail's pace and punching the ball in over and over again... a Michigan offense that averages 35+ minutes time of possession....



January 4th, 2018 at 3:17 PM ^

and he is not a nice person, but just because he had an affair, doesn't mean he is a total scumbag. People have affairs. That legal brief is the accusers account of the events, of which she is seeking 7 million dollars. He didn't rape her or have a sexual relationship with this woman, so I'm a little skeptical.

True Blue Grit

January 4th, 2018 at 4:10 PM ^

I guess.  After reading the entire letter to the DA, I'd agree with scumbag.  Are there worse harassment situations out there?  Sure.  But if the incidents laid out in the brief are pretty accurate, RR could be found criminally liable if enough evidence is presented to a jury.  


January 5th, 2018 at 11:58 AM ^

Jim McElwain: performed very well as the OC at Alabama, was good at Colorado State, just couldn't recruit well enough and perform well enough at Florida. Could be someone who has a ceiling of good OC/mid level HC? Cons: May have gotten lucky at CSU with Rashard Higgins, is being OC at peak Bama that impressive?

KC Keeler: HC at Sam Houston State. One of the best offenses consistently in FCS, Keeler is a Pennsylvania native, and brought a no huddle, hurry up spread to Delaware, where they always ran Wing-T. Cons: 58 years old, and has a good thing going at Sam Houston, not to mention completely unproven at FBS level.

my personal favorite:

Beau Baldwin: Spent years as HC of Eastern Washington, now the OC at California. California offense exceeded expectations this year after a coaching change, had a top 5 offense many years at Eastern Washington, engineered multiple upsets over FBS teams including only the third instance of an FCS team beating a top 25 team in FBS. Has had numerous Quarterbacks excel under his tutelage at all levels, only 45 years old. Good recruiter, has tailored offenses around different quarterbacks depending on skill set. Cons: Would definitely take a head coaching job if offered.


January 4th, 2018 at 3:53 PM ^

I wonder if he'd be swayed to leave Colorado. I think he played there...who knows though? I presume a higher salary could attract him until - inevitably - the Colorado HC job opens up and he's the front runner for it...

Ron Utah

January 4th, 2018 at 3:29 PM ^

Chiaverini is at his alma mater and CU was #70 in S&P+ this year.  They were also 81st in scoring offense.

I would argue, strongly, that being the OC at Michigan is not a demotion, and that success in that job would get Norvell to a top 30 P5 HC job faster than Memphis.  He's proven his chops as a HC, now if he can get UM to win the B1G and maybe to the CFP?  He'd be the hottest name in coaching next year.


January 4th, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

I just cannot believe that anyone really believes that someone would voluntarily leave a head coaching position at a school such as Memphis, Houston, etc. to become an offensive coordinator at Michigan or a program like Michigan's.

Maybe I'm older, with a lot more experience in the workforce, than a lot of people on here. Sort of like another poster decrying the DC from Notre Dame headed to Texas A&M for a big payday. Makes me wonder how much real-world experience some here have.

Mr. Yost

January 4th, 2018 at 10:56 PM ^

That is Michigan arrogance at it's finest if you think being an OC at Michigan is better than a head coach at Memphis.

Norvell was in the mix for not one...but TWO SEC jobs this offseason. He elected to stay at Memphis with his raise, but probably could've gotten Arkansas or Tennessee if he went after either. Even if he finished #2 or #3...he's in the conversation.

Why the fuck does he need Michigan? He can get damn near any job he wants if he keeps winning at Memphis. What if he came and struggled with recruits he didn't recruit...he couldn't even get a Memphis level job again.

The last guy is now the HC at VA Tech and his name is always mentioned with every opening in the south. You act like Memphis is D3. If you're a top coach in the American you can go where you want in the P5. Frost could've gone to Florida. Hermann went to Texas.

lol...sorry, but that's ridiculous. Now we could steal their OC, that's a step up. But Mike Norvell? Shit, let's get Charlie Strong to come coach LBs if Partridge leaves.

Mr. Yost

January 5th, 2018 at 1:32 AM ^

I'd add him to any list.

For me it's simple.

HC: Jim Harbaugh

+10 assistants

1. OC/QB/co-AHC: Jedd Fisch (Matt Canada if that is too unrealistic)
2. RB: Mike Hart
3. WR: Zach Azzanni
4. TE: Vince Marrow
5. OL: Justin Frye
6. DC/ILB: Don Brown
7. DL: Greg Mattison
8. LB/co-AHC: Chris Partridge
9. CB: Mike Zordich
10. S: Devin Bush Sr.

Jay Harbaugh would move to a Director of Player Personnel type position and handle all phases of special teams.

Let the two future HCs be co-assistant head coaches. Let one coach the ALL Maize team and the other coach the ALL Blue team in the spring game.

Not to mention this staff would be the best recruiting staff in the nation along with UGA and Bama.

Lastly, nice blend of youth and experience, diversity, NFL and college experience, plus ties all around the country.

That simple.


January 4th, 2018 at 3:33 PM ^

Why do ohio state fans hate Yurcich?

OP said he's an ohio native, so...?

What's missing from the OP list is anyone from the staffs in the incredibly exciting Rose Bowl we just watched. Wouldn't the RB coach of UGa be an exciting possibility?

Or whoever drew up some of those amazing OK misdirection plays?

I'm in!