The Michigan Wolverines take the field for the season opener against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on  Saturday, August 31, 2019 at Michigan Stadium.

Michigan tunnel

Michigan to expand access to tunnel following Michigan St. incident

The University of Michigan will remove a section of 45 seats to expand access entering and exiting the tunnel at Michigan Stadium, the athletic department confirmed to news outlets Monday.

The decision was the result of a safety review of the famed stadium following the 2022 football season. A letter first obtained by MLive said the athletics department will remove a “small but entire section of movable seats that previously extended from the tunnel.”

The safety report said the decision “directly stems” from an Oct. 29 incident when Michigan hosted Michigan State — but not the altercation that led to eight Spartans players being suspended for allegedly assaulting two Michigan players after the game.

During that game, a spectator “reached down and came in physical contact with Spartans coach Mel Tucker, touching his head,” according to the report.

The Big Ten later reprimanded Michigan for its game management policy while fining Michigan State $100,000 for the players’ conduct.

The planned changes won’t alter the actual dimensions of the tunnel, but create more space for players and coaches to travel between the field and the locker rooms.

Michigan Stadium will increase its standing-room-only space elsewhere in the building by 45 to maintain its capacity of 107,601, the largest stadium in the country.

The ugly altercation between players in October led to seven of the Spartans players involved facing criminal charges, including a felony for one. Michigan State defensive back Khary Crump, who was seen on video swinging his helmet at defenseless Michigan player Gemon Green, accepted a plea deal that included pleading guilty to two misdemeanors.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan co-OC Matt Weiss on leave amid reported investigation

Michigan placed co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss on leave, an athletic department spokesman told multiple outlets Tuesday, as the university’s police department investigates his potential involvement in computer-related crimes on campus.

The Detroit News and ESPN reported that Weiss’ home in Ann Arbor was searched by police on Jan. 10. Police have also investigated Schembechler Hall, the home base of the Wolverines’ football program.

“The University of Michigan Police Department is investigating a report of computer access crimes that occurred at Schembechler Hall during December 21-23, 2022,” University of Michigan deputy chief of police Crystal James said in a statement, without naming Weiss. “Since this is an ongoing investigation there is no additional information to share.”

Further details about the nature of the crimes were not yet known.

Weiss, 39, just completed his second season on Michigan’s staff. After 12 seasons working for John Harbaugh on the Baltimore Ravens’ coaching staff, Weiss was hired by Harbaugh’s brother Jim in 2021 to serve as the Wolverines’ quarterbacks coach. The co-offensive coordinator title, shared with Sherrone Moore, was added between seasons.

Michigan is coming off a 13-1 season with a Big Ten title and a loss to TCU in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Jim Harbaugh said Monday that he will be back in 2023, turning down reported interest from NFL teams. The program also received a notice of allegations from the NCAA this month for Level I and II violations.

–Field Level Media

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh watches a play against Ohio State during the second half at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.

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Jim Harbaugh remaining as U-M head coach

After another flirtation with the NFL, Jim Harbaugh is returning to coach Michigan in 2023.

“I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim shared with me the great news that he is going to remain as the Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines,” university president Santa Ono tweeted Monday. “That is fantastic news that I have communicated to our Athletic Director Warde Manuel.”

“I love the relationship that I have at Michigan – coaches, staff, families, administration, President Santa Ono and especially the players and their families. My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy’. Go Blue!” Harbaugh said in a statement.

It marked the second time this month that Michigan publicly celebrated Harbaugh honoring the basic terms of their agreement.

On Jan. 5, Harbaugh released a statement that he was “aware of the rumors and speculation” regarding his future. “While no one knows what the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023,” Harbaugh said.

Michigan football retweeted that statement with the headline, “A Michigan man through and through.”

Harbaugh reportedly had had a conversation — not an interview — with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper about that team’s coaching vacancy. He was also expected to generate interest from the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, with The Athletic reporting that Harbaugh was all but gone from Michigan if he gets an offer from an NFL franchise.

Harbaugh signed a five-year, $36.7 million contract extension last season following significant discussions with the Minnesota Vikings. He discussed the opening with the Vikings twice, including an in-person sit-down with ownership on National Signing Day, only to ultimately return as Wolverines head coach.

Michigan first hired Harbaugh as head coach in 2015. The Wolverines are 74-24 under Harbaugh with five consecutive bowl game losses since winning the Citrus Bowl in 2015.

The former Michigan quarterback, who played in the NFL from 1987-2001, last coached in the NFL from 2011-2014, guiding the San Francisco 49ers to five playoff wins, a 44-19-1 record and an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.

–Field Level Media

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) is seen on the field on crutches before the start of the Fiesta Bowl against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 31 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

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‘Love for Michigan’ draws RB Blake Corum back to Wolverines in 2023

Blake Corum is running back to Michigan.

A Heisman candidate for most of last season, Corum announced his plans to play for the Wolverines in 2023 on the “Rich Eisen Show” on Monday and followed with a statement shared via social media.

“My goals have always been about leaving an enduring legacy at the winningest program in the history of college football. Motivated by my profound love for Michigan and commitment to my education, I have decided to return for another season. It is an honor to be a student-athlete at the University of Michigan.”

ESPN reported the 2023 NFL Draft was only a brief consideration for Corum due to December knee surgery. He would not likely have been cleared to test and compete in pre-draft workouts.

Corum finished 11th in the nation in rushing with 1,463 yards and fifth with 18 touchdowns without playing in the Big Ten championship game or College Football Playoff semifinal loss to TCU. Corum required left knee surgery to repair an injury he suffered Nov. 19 against Illinois.

The junior logged two carries against Illinois and attempted to play with a brace against rival Ohio State, but was limited again to two carries.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks to the media after the 2022 Fiesta Bowl won by the TCU Horned Frogs, 51-45, at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh: ‘I expect’ to return to Michigan in 2023

Jim Harbaugh said Thursday he expects to return as Michigan’s head coach in 2023 via a statement released through the Wolverines’ social media channels.

In the statement, Harbaugh said he was “aware of the rumors and speculation” regarding his future, specifically centering on his reported interest in returning to the NFL and the expected interest in him by at least three teams.

“While no one knows what the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023,” Harbaugh said, repeating the phrase he used in early December when he first addressed rumors of a jump to the NFL.

“I think the people are going to be happy to know that I’ll be enthusiastically coaching the Wolverines in 2023,” Harbaugh said Dec. 4.

Thursday’s statement went on:

“Our mission as Wolverines continues, and we are preparing for the 2023 season with great passion and enthusiasm.”

Michigan football’s Twitter headline read, “A Michigan man through and through.”

Harbaugh has had a conversation — not an interview — with at least one NFL team about its vacancy, with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper. He’s also expected to generate interest from the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

The Athletic has reported that Harbaugh is all but gone from Michigan if he gets an offer from an NFL franchise.

Harbaugh signed a five-year, $36.7 million contract extension last season following significant discussions with the Minnesota Vikings. He discussed the opening with the Vikings twice, including an in-person sit-down with ownership on National Signing Day, only to ultimately return as Wolverines head coach.

Michigan first hired Harbaugh as head coach in 2015. The Wolverines are 74-24 under Harbaugh with five consecutive bowl game losses since winning the Citrus Bowl in 2015.

The former Michigan quarterback, who played in the NFL from 1987-2001, last coached in the NFL from 2011-2014, guiding the San Francisco 49ers to five playoff wins and a 44-19-1 record.

The 49ers were Super Bowl runner-up to Jim’s brother, John Harbaugh, and the Baltimore Ravens to end the 2012 season.

–Field Level Media

Michigan running back Donovan Edwards (7) runs against Purdue during the second half of the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

No. 3 TCU expects No. 2 Michigan to run ‘no matter what’ in semifinal

Michigan finds itself in the same spot as last year’s bowl season – preparing for the College Football Playoff semifinals. The No. 2 Wolverines will have a very different opponent as they attempt to advance to the title game.

They were bullied by Georgia’s uber-talented defense in the Orange Bowl a year ago, losing 34-11. At the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve this year, they’re more concerned about No. 3 TCU’s high-powered offense, engineered by the Heisman Trophy runner-up.

The survivor of the semifinal game in Glendale, Ariz. will advance to face the Georgia-Ohio State victor in the national championship game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Jan. 9.

TCU’s Max Duggan, who recently declared he’ll enter his name in the NFL draft, passed for 3,321 yards and 30 touchdowns with just four interceptions this season. He added six rushing touchdowns as the Horned Frogs (12-1) remained undefeated until an overtime loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh labels TCU’s offense a “scoring machine” with Duggan at the controls.

“Nothing but tremendous respect for the type of competitor that he is. And it’s going to be a huge challenge getting ready for a quarterback like that,” Harbaugh said.

TCU averages 40.3 points per game, sixth-best in the nation. While Duggan spreads the ball around, the Horned Frogs have relied upon Kendre Miller in the running game. He’s rushed for 1,342 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“They’re just balanced with the pass and a running game,” Wolverines linebacker Michael Barrett said. “They’re really good at both. It’s going to be a good test for our defense on all levels.”

Horned Frogs Sonny Dykes knows that if his team prevails, it will likely be a high-scoring affair.

“One thing that we have to do is rely on our strengths, which is speed and the ability to get the ball down the field,” he said in a radio interview with 105.3 The Fan. “We’re going to have to take shots and we’re going to have to make contested plays.”

The Horned Frogs will try to pull that off against a Wolverines unit tied for fourth in scoring defense, third in rushing defense and fifth in passing yards per attempt.

“I just think they’re so well-coached and they play so well on both sides of the ball,” Duggan said. “They fly around, they know what they want to do and they do it so well. It’s going to make our job tough.”

Dykes revived TCU’s program in his first season as head coach. The Horned Frogs haven’t even gone to a bowl game the past three seasons.

The Wolverines (13-0) have already set a school record for most victories in a season. They’re looking to finish undefeated for the first time since 1997, when they won a share of the national championship. Back then, it was still decided by polls.

Michigan won’t have its No. 1 running back, Blake Corum, who underwent knee surgery earlier this month. Donovan Edwards has proved to be much more than a capable backup.

Edwards rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns against arch-rival Ohio State, then posted 185 yards and a touchdown in the Big Ten championship against Purdue.

“You have to try to match their physicality,” Dykes said. “You’ve got to play tough, You’ve got to be able to stop the run. Michigan is one of the few teams in college football that will run the ball no matter what.”

Quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for a combined six touchdowns against the Buckeyes and Boilermakers. He’s only been intercepted three times.

“I don’t think there’s anyone better,” Harbaugh said. “Our guy, he just never gets flustered.”

–Field Level Media

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) is hugged by co-offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore during warmups before the game Nov. 26, 2022 against Ohio State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

Reports: Michigan RB Blake Corum (knee) done for season

Michigan running back Blake Corum, who ran himself from national obscurity and into the Heisman picture this season, will undergo season-ending knee surgery, NFL Network and ESPN reported Thursday.

No. 2 Michigan is preparing to play Purdue in the Big Ten championship game Saturday.

Corum sustained the injury against Illinois on Nov. 19. He tried to play in the Ohio State game last week but was limited to just two rushes for six yards.

Corum finishes the season with 1,463 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns, good for eighth and tied for fourth, respectively, in all of FBS. He was just named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, the nation’s top running back, earlier this week.

Donovan Edwards ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns in place of Corum against Ohio State.

Corum has rushed for 2,492 yards total in 30 career games at Michigan.

–Field Level Media

Michigan tight end Erick All catches a pass against the Hawaii during the first half on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Ann Arbor.

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Michigan starting TE Erick All done for season

Michigan starting tight end Erick All is done for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery last week.

All took to social media Friday to say that he underwent “life-changing” surgery in Fort Myers, Fla., but did not disclose what it was.

“He won’t be back this year,” Harbaugh told reporters Monday. “He had a surgery that he needed, and (it) was successful. We look forward to rehab for Erick. He won’t be back this year.”

All was voted one of five co-captains this season. He recorded three catches for 36 yards in the first three games of the season. He’s been out with a back injury since September.

All was second on the team in receptions in 2021, hauling in 38 passes for 437 yards and two touchdowns.

Tight end Luke Schoonmaker has racked up 23 catches for 229 yards in place of All this season.

The No. 4 Wolverines (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) are preparing to play rival Michigan State (3-4, 1-3) this week.

–Field Level Media

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Cade McNamara celebrate a touchdown against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Syndication Detroit Free Press

Jim Harbaugh on Michigan’s two-QB system: ‘It’s really biblical’

Jim Harbaugh is doing things by the book at Michigan.

In granting the Wolverines’ top two quarterbacks each a start to begin the regular season, Harbaugh delayed naming a No. 1 quarterback after considering biblical guidance.

Cade McNamara will start for No. 8 Michigan against Colorado State on Saturday. Sophomore J.J. McCarthy gets the nod Sept. 10 against Hawaii.

Harbaugh said both quarterbacks will play in each game.

“No person, that’s biblical, no person knows what the future holds,” Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s a process and it’s going to be based on performance, but we’re not going to withhold any good thing. Both have been tremendous quarterbacks. We think that both are capable of leading our team to a championship.”

McNamara was the starter for the Wolverines in 2021 on the way to Michigan’s outright conference championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Harbaugh said McNamara was “arguably one of the most improved players on the team” following a season in which he amassed 2,576 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.

McCarthy was a top-25 overall recruit but an injured throwing shoulder limited his availability this spring. He came off the bench to play in 11 games in 2021.

The quarterbacks made a decision difficult on the Wolverines’ coaching staff, Harbaugh said, adding he believes both are ready to lead the team to a championship if their number is called.

“Some people have asked, ‘How did you come to that decision? Was it based on some kind of NFL model?’” Harbaugh said. “No, it’s really based biblical. Solomon, he was known to be a pretty wise person.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 12, 2019; Champaign, IL, USA; A Michigan Wolverines helmet sits on the back of the bench during the second half of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

Former Michigan coach Gary Moeller dies at 81

Gary Moeller, a longtime football coach best known for succeeding Bo Schembechler at Michigan, died on Monday.

Moeller was 81. A cause of death was not specified.

Among his 23 years associated with the Wolverines, Moeller spent five seasons (1990-94) as their head coach. He was also the head coach at Illinois (1977-79) and the NFL’s Detroit Lions (2000).

Moeller’s Michigan teams went 44-13-3 in his five-year head coaching stint, including three Big Ten Championships and a 4-1 record in bowl games. He led Michigan to a 9-0-3 record and a Rose Bowl victory in 1992.

From 1990 through 1992, the Wolverines won 19 straight conference games, setting a Big Ten record.

“The football world lost a great man in Gary Moeller,” current Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said in a statement. “Coach Moeller cared for his players and his teams and was devoted to the University of Michigan. He gave a lot to the game of football, excelling as both an offensive and defensive coordinator and head coach in the college and NFL ranks. We have lost a wonderful family man.”

Harbaugh overlapped with Moeller from 1982-86, when Harbaugh played quarterback and Moeller was the defensive coordinator on Schembechler’s staff. Moeller then served as the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator from 1987-89 and took over the top job when Schembechler retired from coaching.

Moeller resigned as head coach in May 1995 after he was arrested for disorderly conduct at a restaurant in Michigan. After two seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals’ tight ends coach, he coached the Lions’ linebackers until being promoted to interim head coach during the 2000 season when Bobby Ross resigned mid-year.

Moeller’s Lions went 4-3 during his interim stint.

–Field Level Media