Four Michigan assistants to split duties during Harbaugh suspension

Four Michigan assistants to split duties during Harbaugh suspension

Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff WriterAug 24, 2023, 07:12 PM ET

CloseESPN staff writerJoined ESPN in 2011Graduated from Central Michigan

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh announced Thursday that four assistants will handle game-day coaching duties during his three-game suspension to start the season.

Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter will serve as game-day coach against East Carolina on Sept. 2, special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh (Jim Harbaugh’s son) and running backs coach Mike Hart will split duties against UNLV on Sept. 9 with each coaching a half, and offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore will handle the role against Bowling Green on Sept. 16.

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“I’m certain that all will be impressed with the four coaches’ ability to direct and manage the game,” Jim Harbaugh said in a statement. “It’s been well documented that we have a very talented coaching staff and I believe that all 10 assistant coaches will be head coaches in the near future. They are all capable of leading a team at an elite level.

“I know that everyone will handle their responsibilities and help our players to be the best version of themselves on and off the field this fall and beyond.”

In addition, Harbaugh’s 84-year-old father, Jack, will continue to be assistant head coach for the three games, and strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert will add the title of associate head coach.

Michigan self-imposed the three-game suspension for Harbaugh in response to the NCAA’s investigation of alleged recruiting violations during the COVID-19 dead period and Harbaugh not cooperating with the NCAA. The school had negotiated an agreement with the NCAA on a four-game suspension, but the NCAA’s infractions committee rejected that settlement.

Michigan then imposed the three-game suspension to help soften the blow of any potential punishment from the NCAA, which likely would come in 2024.

Although Harbaugh won’t be allowed to coach the team in games, he will be able to coach during the week and be present in the facilities outside of game days.

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