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Michigan hires Sherrone Moore as replacement for Jim Harbaugh

Michigan has promoted offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Sherrone Moore to head coach, the school announced Friday, moving quickly to tap one of the key figures behind this year’s championship run as Jim Harbaugh’s successor.

Moore, 37, is the first Black head coach in program history.

“I have been preparing my entire coaching career for this opportunity and I can’t think of a better place to be head coach than at the University of Michigan,” Moore said in the school’s announcement. ‘We will do everything each day as a TEAM to continue the legacy of championship football that has been played at Michigan for the past 144 years.

‘Our standards will not change. We will be a smart, tough, dependable, relentless, and enthusiastic championship-level team that loves football and plays with passion for the game, the winged helmet and each other.’

Moore was seen in college football circles as Michigan’s most obvious replacement should Harbaugh leave for a second stint in the NFL. Harbaugh agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday after going 89-25 in his nine seasons with the Wolverines.

By finding a new head coach within the existing staff, Michigan is banking on a seamless transition to help continue the Wolverines’ greatest run in recent history. The Wolverines have claimed three outright Big Ten crowns in a row, beaten Ohio State three years in a row and just claimed their first national championship since 1997.

Moore is the fifth head coach in the program’s modern era to be promoted as an assistant. All four of the previous hires reached a Rose Bowl and two, Lloyd Carr and Bennie Oosterbaan, won a national championship.

According to the memorandum of understanding obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Moore is receiving a five-year deal worth $6 million per season to start: $500,000 base salary, a $500,000 retention bonus if he is employed for the entire contract year, and $5,000,000 in ‘additional compensation,’ which is to increase by 2% ($100,000) each subsequent contract year.

Moore would get a $500,000 bonus for winning the Big Ten, $200,000 for reaching the 12-team College Football Playoff, $300,000 for reaching the second round of the playoff, $500,000 for reaching the playoff semifinals, $750,000 for a national title game appearance and $1,000,000 for winning the national championship.

If Moore is fired without cause, Michigan would owe him 75% of his base salary and additional compensation for the remainder of the term. If Moore were to leave after one year, he would owe Michigan $5,000,000, and the buyout decreases by $1 million after each year.

A former offensive lineman at Oklahoma, Moore began his coaching career at Louisville (2009-13) and Central Michigan (2014-17) before being tapped to join Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan in 2018 to coach the tight ends.

He was one of the few assistants to survive a major staffing purge following the Wolverines’ disastrous 2020 season. Beginning in 2021, Moore was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and line coach before taking over as the sole coordinator this past year. Michigan’s offensive line won the Joe Moore Award as the best line in the Bowl Subdivision in 2021 and 2022, becoming the first program to repeat as winners.

Moore spent two separate stints this past season as the interim replacement for a suspended Harbaugh, who was suspended by the school for the first three games because of recruiting violations and the final three games of the regular season by the Big Ten over Michigan’s alleged sign-stealing. He was the acting coach for a win against Bowling Green in September and again in November for wins against Penn State, Maryland and Ohio State.

“Sherrone stepped up this fall and served as the interim head coach when the program and especially the team needed him,” athletic director Warde Manuel said in the team’s release. “Sherrone handled that situation in a way that sealed my already-growing confidence in him. He didn’t make it about him, it was always about the team!’

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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