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Michigan seeks to add Jim McElwain to football coaching staff

Michigan Hires Jim McElwain

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has offered a coaching spot to ex Florida Gator head coach Jim McElwain. The coaching role would be for McElwain to become the receivers coach with the possibility of becoming the offensive coordinator in the near future. McElwain was fired by the Florida Gators in the middle of his third season in Gainesville. During that time, he went 22-12 and won two SEC East titles. Michigan is looking to replace Dan Enos who bolted for Alabama after just six weeks on the job. Currently, the Wolverines are relying on Pep Hamilton and Tim Drevno to run the offense. If the school and McElwain reached an agreement, he could be on the job as early as next week.

Michigan struggled in Harbaugh’s third year as head coach in 2017. After going 10-3 in his first two seasons, the Wolverines dropped to 8-5 last year. Part of the reason for the decline  in 2017 was due to an injury sustained by starting quarterback Wilton Speight. The senior was one of college football’s top returning qb’s in 2017.   That left the passing duties to John O’Korn who struggled for the most of the college football season. The Wolverines dropped their last three games of the season and went 1-3 against ranked opponents. Their victory was against No. 17 Florida in week one.  Michigan has also went 1-2 in bowl games under Harbaugh. Their bowl win was a 41-7 Citrus Bowl victory against McElwain’s Florida Gators. This could be a coincidence or it could be a sign.

Hiring McElwain would bring in a coach that has 33 years of coaching experience. His overall head coaching record in NCAA football is 44-28. The 55 year-old coach last served as offensive coordinator with the Alabama Crimson Tide from 2008 to 2011. In his time at Tuscaloosa, the Tide went 36-3 and won two national championships. Between the Alabama and Florida gigs, McElwain served as head coach for the Colorado State Rams. CSU went 22-17 during McElwain’s time there and he was named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year after a 10-3 record in 2014.

If the Wolverines and McElwain reach an agreement, it would be a high-profile pickup this late in the season. Michigan starts spring practice on March 22 which wouldn’t give anyone a lot of time to get situated in the new position. However, McElwain has the experience and knowledge to come in and be a success right from the start. This would be a huge pickup for Harbaugh and the Wolverines. Now, we just have to wait and see if they can get it done.