Michigan announced the hire of Brian Jean-Mary as linebackers coach Saturday, filling out the Wolverines’ coaching staff for 2020 after the departures of Chris Partridge and Anthony Campanile in the offseason.
Jean-Mary has 21 years of coaching experience. He most recently served as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at South Florida, a position he held from 2017-19. Before that, he was the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas from 2014-16, assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Louisville from 2010-13 and linebackers coach at Georgia Tech from 2004-09.
Though Jean-Mary has plenty of experience coaching defense, he was likely added for his recruiting prowess. With the Longhorns, he helped sign two top-10 classes in three years and was ranked as the top recruiter in the Big 12 in 2015 by 247Sports. His addition will help offset the loss of Partridge, who was known as one of the top recruiters in the country.
“It is an honor to join Coach (Jim) Harbaugh’s staff at the University of Michigan,” Jean-Mary said in a release. “I am excited about the opportunity to work under a truly outstanding leader, to join a program with such a rich tradition of winning, and to recruit the best and brightest to the University of Michigan. My family cannot wait to get to Ann Arbor. Go Blue!”
Jean-Mary’s addition could also help give the Wolverines more of a recruiting presence in the South, where he has spent most of his time coaching. That’s a deviation from the Northeast-heavy duo of Partridge and Campanile, but still an area of the country rich in football talent.
Michigan also finalized the hiring of another former defensive coordinator — making three on staff with experience in that position — in Bob Shoop and announced that he will be coaching safeties.
“I am excited about the addition of Brian and Bob to our defensive coaching staff,” Harbaugh said in the release. “Brian and Bob are well-respected, experienced coaches who represent great fits for the University of Michigan. Both coaches have experience coordinating some of the best defenses in the country, and their development of all-conference and future NFL players throughout their careers will benefit our program and student-athletes. Michigan Football looks forward to having Brian, Bob and their families join the University family.”
Running backs coach Jay Harbaugh was also elevated to the title of special teams coordinator, a position most recently held by Partridge. Jay Harbaugh had been the assistant special teams coordinator since 2015. He will also continue in his role coaching running backs.
In adding two former defensive coordinators with experience primarily in the South, Michigan hired two coaches that will bring very different things to the table than Partridge and Campanile. But Jim Harbaugh’s track record with hiring assistants, particularly defensive assistants, is very good and only time will tell what these coaches will do in Ann Arbor.