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.