Jim Harbaugh: Michigan Coaching Staff Overhaul Wasn't Because of 'Disconnect'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2021

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is seen during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh addressed the turnover on his coaching staff following a disappointing 2-4 season.

"I didn't find any kind of disconnect but wanted to be strong in all areas, making improvements to everything," Harbaugh told reporters Thursday. "I would describe it as that. I didn't feel there was a disconnect, no."

Some were surprised when Michigan handed Harbaugh an extension as he was approaching the final year of his contract.

However, The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner reported in January his salary was basically halved to around $4 million and that he could collect as much as $8 million based on certain incentives. Michigan will also have a "low" buyout if it wants to go in another direction.

While Harbaugh stayed, he couldn't keep his entire coaching staff together.

Defensive coordinator Don Brown was let go in December after the Wolverines allowed 429.3 yards and 34.5 points per game. Former Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach Mike Macdonald was brought in as Brown's replacement.

The program made a number of additional hires, including former players Ron Bellamy and Mike Hart.

Michigan also ranked 10th in 247Sports' composite team rankings for 2021, a group that includes 5-star pro-style quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

A five-year extension usually buys a head coach some level of security. In Harbaugh's case, he could find himself back on the hot seat if the Wolverines once again fall short of expectations next season.