Brady Hoke has replaced embattled offensive coordinator Al Borges with Doug Nussmeier, and in doing so lured one of the top offensive coordinators in college football to Ann Arbor.
Hoke announced Borges' departure on mgoblue.com:
"Decisions like these are never easy," said Hoke. "I have a great amount of respect for Al as a football coach and, more importantly, as a person. I appreciate everything he has done for Michigan Football for the past three seasons.”
Within hours, word leaked that Michigan had replaced Borges with one of the top coaches in NCAA football. Nussmeier is credited with helping Alabama set offensive records in his first season (2012) for touchdowns (68), total points (542), total offense (6,237) and passing touchdowns (31) while going 13-1 and winning the national championship. This season Alabama fell short of the national title game after Auburn returned a missed field goal for a touchdown on the final play of the game.
Hoke made the hiring official today on mgoblue.com:
"Doug is a highly respected offensive coordinator and has earned a reputation as being a great mentor to quarterbacks, specifically, where he's coached Pro Bowlers, top NFL draft choices and Heisman trophy finalists," said Hoke. "Doug has been successful at every coaching stop with his balanced and explosive offenses, and he brings national championship experience. He is an excellent addition to our coaching staff and football program, and we are excited to have Doug, Christi and their children join the Michigan family."
Nussmeier will have his work cut out for him, first needing to sort out the quarterback position between returning starter Devin Gardner and freshman phenom Shane Morris and most importantly shuffling an offensive line that loses two starters from a group that couldn't consistently pass block or open up running lanes last season.
The hiring of Nussmeier sends a clear message that Hoke will do what it takes to get his team back to the ranks of the elite—even if it means firing a loyal assistant.
Borges had coached with Hoke since 2009 starting with two seasons at San Diego State followed by three at Michigan. Borges initially found success in his first season at Michigan and was rewarded with a new contract making him one of the highest paid assistants in college football. But during the last two seasons, he came under fire for inexplicable play calling and the perception that he dodged responsibility for the failure of the offense.
Things to know about Doug Nussmeier:
He Played Quarterback in College and the Pros
Nussmeier played collegiately at Idaho and won the 1993 Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the Division I-AA player of the year. As a fifth-year senior in 1993, Nussmeier completed 185-of-304 passes for 2,960 yards and a school-record 33 touchdowns.
He still ranks among the NCAA I-AA all-time leaders in passing (No. 9 with 10,824 career yards) and total offense (No. 10 at 309.1 yards per game). He is one of only three quarterbacks in NCAA history to throw for at least 10,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards (1,230), joining Alcorn State's Steve McNair (1991–94) and Central Florida's Daunte Culpepper (1996–98).
After college, he was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 1994 NFL Draft and was the fourth overall quarterback taken. Nussmeier served as a backup quarterback for five seasons spending four years with New Orleans (1994–97) and one with Indianapolis (1998).
While in the NFL he played in eight regular-season games (46-for-82, 455 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions). Nussmeier finished his professional playing career in the Canadian Football League in 2000 and was the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2001.
He Knows Michigan
Not only was Nussmeier the offensive coordinator for Alabama when the Tide rolled all over Michigan 41-14 in 2012 he also coached at Michigan State from 2003-05. While at Michigan State, he never beat Michigan and most notably was on the losing end of the 45-37 3OT 2004 game at Michigan Stadium.
He Coached in the NFL
Nussmeier was quarterbacks coach for the St. Louis Rams in 2006-07 and helped Marc Bulger, a former sixth-round pick, become a Pro Bowl player.
He’s a Quarterback Guru
Nussmeier has a great record of working with quarterbacks; Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Washington's Keith Price and Michigan State's Drew Stanton and Jeff Smoker all improved under his coaching. He’ll have the opportunity to guide Devin Gardner and Shane Morris in Ann Arbor.
He Will be Highly Paid
Borges was one of the highest paid coordinators in college football but Nussmeier will make even more. According to CBS, Nussmeier will be one of the five highest-paid coordinators in the country.
He’s a Hot Commodity
Nussmeier is a future head coach and was in the running to be head coach at both Washington and Southern Miss. He’s probably not a long-term solution but his hiring shows that Michigan is interested in winning now and hiring the best coaches available.