With a senior-laden defense that was expected to carry the team this season, Scott Shafer had it all planned out.
Unfortunately things didn't work out as he planned. In a statement released early Tuesday by the University, and Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer has resigned, effective immediately.
"Scott and I agreed that moving in a different direction was in the best interest of the program," said coach Rich Rodriguez. "I appreciate Scott's hard work on behalf of Michigan football the past year. He is a good football coach, a good person and a true professional. We wish him well in the future."
While the move comes as no surprise to Michigan fans, (who saw Michigan drop to 68th in total defense), it now leaves Rodriguez with no defensive coordinator.
Michigan ranked 48th (nationally) against the run, and 87th against the pass. Too many times were Michigan players caught of out position, most importantly on 3rd down. Whether or not Shafer is to be blamed for this, the change has been made.
There are, however, many very solid options out there available for Michigan to consider.
Paul Rhoads (DC Auburn 07-08', Pittsburgh 2001-2007)
Rhoads and Rodriguez have met many times before in the Backyard Brawl, and few can deny the success Rhoads experienced against the Mountaineers spread offense.
Overall, Rhoads (41) would be just the type of young, energetic coordinator that could inspire a seemingly uninspired Michigan defense. Rhoads also can recruit Pennsylvania very well which would be a huge bonus for the Wolverines.
Jeff Casteel (WVU DC, 2003-current)
Casteel has worked with Rodriguez since 2001, and has produced very strong defenses since he became coordinator in 2003.
In 2007, the Mountaineers ranked in the top 10 nationally in defense, and this year have slipped to a respectable 35th (mostly due to graduation).
Casteel had the opportunity to follow Rodriguez last winter and Rodriguez would be wise to reach out to his former coordinator once again.
John Chavis (Tennessee Coordinator, 1995-2008)
Chavis has been known as one of those old school coaches. Hard hitting, fast paced football is his style, and his teams have demonstrated it over the years. Following the 1998 national championship game he was named Outstanding Linebackers Coach, and in 2006 was the National Assistant of the Year.
Chavis has coached many NFL caliber talents at Tennessee, and has consistently produced many strong SEC-caliber defenses. He would fit in well at Michigan if given the chance.
There are other names being mentioned but any of these would be considered a strong hire by Wolverines.