Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is lifted off the ground by offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore after Michigan won the College Football Playoff national championship game against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

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If Jim Harbaugh leaves, is Sherrone Moore Michigan’s man?

Jim Harbaugh flirts hard, and he flirts consistently enough that Michigan had time to plan for his exit.

If Harbaugh seals the deal with the Los Angeles Chargers to return to the NFL, it would come as no surprise to athletic director Warde Manuel. Manuel offered Harbaugh a contract worth $125 million for 10 seasons even before the Wolverines won the national title earlier this month, NFL Network reported.

The writing might have been on the wall when Harbaugh opted not to sign the contract and interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons and Chargers.

He would add to the list of seismic shifts on the coaching ranks this month. Nick Saban retired at Alabama, and national championship runner-up Washington lost Kalen DeBoer to Tuscaloosa as his replacement. That opened the door for Arizona coach Jedd Fisch to flee for Seattle, and the dominoes are still dropping in his wake.

In the NFL, Bill Belichick and the Patriots divorced after 24 years. And now Harbaugh appears determined to join the high-profile relocation plan.

Where does that leave Michigan?

The Wolverines appear to be interested in promoting from within, but defensive coordinator Jesse Minter reportedly is part of Harbaugh’s planned staff in Los Angeles.

Offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore had a four-game cameo as head coach when Harbaugh served multiple suspensions last season.

Moore, an offensive guard at Oklahoma during Bob Stoops’ heyday, said prior to the Rose Bowl he appreciated the opportunity.

“The biggest difference is that when you’re the head coach you got to talk with the reps a lot, and that communication can be positive, can be a little negative,” Moore said in Pasadena. “But I try to manage that as best as possible — making the decisions on the fly in those situations, as a coordinator, especially going for it on 4th down, when you have a head coach there you’re counting on him. When you’re the head coach you kind of make that call yourself. But me and (Harbaugh), we have the same mindset of how we would call it, how we would do it in those situations. Those are the biggest differences going from just a coordinator to the head coach.”

Moore came to Michigan in 2018 and became co-offensive coordinator in 2020. While not what many in the fanbase would call a “Michigan Man,” Moore said before the national title game that he’s more than content in Ann Arbor and not chasing a head-coaching position, citing loyalty to the Wolverines.

“Most coaches at some point in their life want to do that,” Moore said. “When the time comes, the time comes, but I’m in no rush to leave this place, this great university, these students and coach Harbaugh.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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