Michigan football is starting spring practice next week, and it’ll do so one coach down. Linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary is headed to Tennessee, according to reports. The Wolverine’s Chris Balas was first to report the news.
Jean-Mary was expected to stay in Ann Arbor under a new defensive staff headed by Mike Macdonald. At various points during the offseason, Jean-Mary’s status was unclear as the Wolverines revamped their defensive staff. Reports at one point surfaced that they would be hiring Florida’s Christian Robinson as a new linebackers coach, but that never happened and Jean-Mary stayed. Still, he never signed a new contract, staying on the one he signed last offseason when Michigan first hired him.
The timing of the move, the week before spring practice is scheduled to start, is less than ideal.
Defensive line coach Shaun Nua is now the lone holdover from last season on the defensive staff. Macdonald, co-defensive coordinator Maurice Linguist and safeties coach George Helow will make up the new staff, along with whoever Jim Harbaugh chooses to replace Jean-Mary.
Michigan’s defense gave up 434.3 yards per game, ranking 89th in the country. It was widely held responsible for the team’s 2-4 record, resulting in coordinator Don Brown being fired at the end of the season.