It came as no surprise yesterday when Michigan coach Lloyd Carr announced the hiring of Scot Loeffler, a former Michigan quarterback and graduate assistant, as the Wolverines” new quarterbacks coach. Loeffler replaces Stan Parrish, who stepped down as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last week.
Carr has traditionally hired from within the program, and with the addition of Loeffler and new special teams coach Bill Sheridan to the staff in the past week, more than two-thirds of Carr”s staff has ties to the University.
Loeffler, who has spent the past two years coaching signal callers at Central Michigan, began his career at Michigan, where he served as backup to Todd Collins in his first two seasons. But after a serious shoulder injury cost him his chance to start for the Wolverines, his life took a new direction.
“The day that he got injured at Michigan, he began to prepare himself to be a football coach,” said Central Michigan coach Mike DeBord, who was Michigan”s offensive coordinator when it won the national championship in 1997.
Loeffler served as graduate assistant for the Wolverines in 1998 and 1999, coaching the scout team offense and aiding in the development of former Michigan quarterbacks Brian Griese, Tom Brady and Drew Henson.
In his two years at Central Michigan, he impressed DeBord with his passion for the quarterback position and his knowledge of how to attack coverages.
“All of our quarterbacks, they”re unbelievably better today than two years ago when he came here,” DeBord said. “He”s a great quarterbacks coach, and at Michigan, he”s going to have to develop some young guys.”
Loeffler will have his hands full during Michigan”s spring practice session, as Carr has indicated that there is no clear starting quarterback. At last Wednesday”s signing day press conference, Carr did not endorse John Navarre, who has started 16 games at the position in the past two seasons.
Navarre”s struggles this season began at Michigan State on Nov. 3, when he threw two costly interceptions in Michigan”s 26-24 defeat. From that point forward, his confidence never recovered, and his season hit a low point when he threw four interceptions in Ohio State”s 26-20 upset of the Wolverines in Michigan Stadium.
The sophomore was consistently unable to look off his first option usually All-America receiver Marquise Walker and lacked the instincts in the pocket to feel pressure and deliver the ball on time.
Not only will Loeffler be working to repair the confidence of Navarre, but he”ll also be evaluating Jermaine Gonzales and Spencer Brinton in the spring.
Gonzales was not used much in dropback passing situations this season the coaching staff utilized him mostly as a runner and a receiver. Meanwhile, Brinton underthrew his only pass of the season against Miami of Ohio.
Incoming freshman Matt Gutierrez will join the competition in the fall.