This story was updated Nov. 17 at 12:13 p.m. to include a statement from the University of Michigan.
Michigan Athletics announced Friday that linebackers coach Chris Partridge was relieved of his duties as linebackers coach, effective immediately. Analyst Rick Minter, father of defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, will step in as linebackers coach for the rest of the season.
The announcement comes a day after the No. 3 Michigan football team’s coach, Jim Harbaugh, opted to avoid going to court against the Big Ten in defense of his attempted injunction against the Big Ten and commissioner Tony Petitti. Instead, Harbaugh accepted his suspension for an ongoing sign-stealing scandal, and the Big Ten closed its case into the Wolverines’ sign-stealing allegations. The NCAA investigation remains active.
“From the outset, our focus has been on seeking due process and allowing the NCAA to conduct a fair and deliberate investigation. Although the Big Ten has closed its investigation, we are continuing to cooperate with the NCAA as it moves forward with its ongoing investigation,” the University of Michigan released in a statement to The Michigan Daily. “Consistent with our commitment to integrity, we will continue to take the appropriate actions, including disciplinary measures, based on information we obtain. Earlier today, Michigan Athletics relieved Chris Partridge of his duties as a member of the Michigan Football staff. Due to employee privacy laws, we are unable to comment further.”
The statement suggests that Partridge was fired for his role in the sign-stealing scandal currently being investigated, but what exact role he might have played remains unknown.
Partridge was a veteran of the program, coaching for the Wolverines from 2015-2019, before taking a job as the defensive coordinator of Ole Miss from 2020-2022. Partridge was a highly effective recruiter as well as an integral part of Michigan’s defensive coaching unit.
Notably, the supposed sign scandal ringleader, Connor Stalions, claimed to work with linebackers on his social media platforms such as X (formerly known as Twitter) before deleting them. Stalions left the Wolverines’ program earlier this month because of the scandal.
On the same day as Harbaugh’s intended court date and just one day before Michigan’s potential 1000th victory, Partridge will no longer serve his role with the Wolverines. As the NCAA’s own investigation into sign stealing continues to unfold, more disciplinary actions like this could arise.