In a swift move following the departure of Maurice Linguist, the Michigan football team has hired a new defensive backs coach in Steve Clinkscale from the University of Kentucky, per Sam Webb of 247Sports.
Linguist left his post as co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach in Ann Arbor for a head coaching position at Buffalo last Friday. Known as an ace recruiter, Linguist played an integral role in the recruitment of five-star 2022 cornerback commit Will Johnson and drew high coaching praise during the Wolverines’ spring practice slate. The early-May timing came well after the coaching carousel stopped spinning a few months ago, leaving Michigan in a difficult position.
Less than a week after Linguist’s spot on Jim Harbaugh’s staff opened, the seventh-year coach inked a replacement that shares similar qualities. The 43-year-old Ohio native most recently served as the defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator with the Wildcats, where he was hired in 2016. Clinkscale led the Kentucky defense through a historic three-season span in which the team finished as a top-four SEC pass defense each year. Prior to his stint in Lexington, Clinkscale coached at Cincinnati, Illinois, Toledo, Western Carolina and Ashland University, his alma mater.
As a recruiter, 247Sports credited Clinkscale with landing the commitments of eight four-star prospects with the Wildcats. That level of success could reach even greater heights with the Wolverines, given the recruiting focus of Harbaugh’s offseason staff overhaul.
Hampered by 2020 NFL Draft departures and Ambry Thomas’ decision to opt out, Michigan’s secondary was one of its biggest weaknesses last season. Now, Clinkscale has a chance to step in and make an immediate impact.