Michigan football hires longtime coach, father of QB recruit

Michigan football hires longtime coach, father of QB recruit

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Michigan football hires longtime coach, father of QB recruit

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh - $9,004,000.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh is making waves again.

The Michigan football coach apparently is hiring a California high school coach — whose son happens to be an elite quarterback prospect in the 2019 recruiting class.

Michael Johnson, the coach at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif., is resigning to work for Michigan, according to a tweet from the school.

His son Michael Johnson Jr. is a four-star dual-threat quarterback — the nation’s No. 1-ranked player at his position, according to 247Sports. The younger Johnson is listed at 6-feet-3 and 175 pounds and runs a 4.68 40-yard dash.

The elder Johnson has extensive coaching experience, including at Oregon State in the late 1990s and as UCLA’s offensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2011. Johnson worked as an offensive assistant in the NFL in 2000-10, including with the San Francisco 49ers before Harbaugh was hired in 2011. He played in the CFL and Arena Football League.

U-M has a few analyst positions open. Rick Finotti and Michael Switzer moved when Finotti got the head coach job at John Carroll and brought Switzer with him to help run the offense.

And this is not the first time that Harbaugh has dipped into the parent pool. He hired Gwen Bush as player development coordinator soon after he got the job in January 2015. Her son, defensive back Wayne Lyons, transferred in as a graduate student. U-M linebacker Devin Bush Jr. committed to Michigan in December 2015 and, a few months later, his father, Devin Sr., joined the U-M staff. And U-M assistant head coach Biff Poggi came to the program where his son Henry was a fullback.

Harbaugh might be making this hire just in time. A proposal in January advocates implementing a rule similar to one in NCAA basketball that prevents an “individual associated with a prospect” from being hired. The American Football Coaches Association supported the proposal.

If passed, a school couldn’t hire an IAWP in a noncoaching staff position for two years before or after the prospect’s anticipated enrollment, according to an espn.com article from the NCAA convention.

U-M linebackers coach Chris Partridge might have fallen under that rule. Harbaugh hired him, and then a few of his former players, including No. 1 overall prospect Rashan Gary, followed him to Michigan.

The NCAA Board of Governors is expected to certify a proposal for a 10th assistant coach for college programs in April, so there’s a possibility that Johnson, given his background, could be a candidate for that role.

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