Following an underwhelming 2-4 season, staff changes were expected for the Michigan football team.
Coach Jim Harbaugh, fresh off a four-year contract extension, got the ball rolling on Wednesday, Jan. 13. He hired running backs coach Mike Hart away from Indiana for the same role in Ann Arbor, as first reported by Jamie Morris of WTKA’s The MZone Show. The program confirmed the news Wednesday afternoon.
“I am excited about the addition of Mike Hart to our offensive coaching staff,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “Mike is a great coach and Michigan Man who has shown the ability to develop and elevate the performance of the running backs that he has mentored. We look forward to welcoming Mike, Monique and their children to the Michigan football family.”
Hart, who starred at Michigan from 2004-07 as the program’s all-time leading rusher, is a home run hire for Harbaugh’s new-look staff. He just wrapped up his fourth season as the Hoosiers’ running backs coach, where he also earned an associate head coach title. Previously, he spent time on staff at Eastern Michigan (2012-13), Western Michigan (2014-15) and Syracuse (2016) after spending three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
In his return to Ann Arbor, Hart will have no shortage of talent at his position group. The Wolverines have landed their top target at running back over each of the last three cycles in Zach Charbonnet (2019), Blake Corum (2020) and Donovan Edwards (2021).Junior Hassan Haskins also showed promise as he handled a heavy workload this past season.
“Michigan has always held a special place in my heart,” Hart said in a statement. “It is a place that always believed in me and a place that I have always have believed in. I am excited to join Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan staff, and can’t wait to get to work with a talented running back group.”
With the addition of Hart as the running backs coach, Jay Harbaugh is expected to move back to his role as special teams coach, according to Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider.