Why Michigan Wolverines Must Wait To Announce Jim Harbaugh Replacement

    Jim Harbaugh has left Ann Arbor for the NFL, but the Michigan Wolverines might not be able to move quickly to announce his replacement.

    After plenty of speculation, the football world has its answer: Jim Harbaugh has left for the NFL. Harbaugh has flirted with the proposition of returning to the NFL for years now. Still, in recent weeks, he has been actively dating before entering into a relationship with the Los Angeles Chargers.

    It means that Michigan needs to find a succession plan coming off a National Championship win. However, unlike other hires this offseason, we must wait at least seven days to discover Harbaugh’s successor.

    What Does Michigan State Law Say?

    Due to state laws in Michigan, the University has to wait before appointing a new head coach. Other programs have been able to act quickly to fill open positions recently, but Michigan must delay its announcement and follow a thorough process.

    According to the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guide, job opportunities at the school are “posted for a minimum of seven calendar days, prior to being filled.” This means that the Wolverines will have to wait seven days from the job being posted before making a hire.

    This also seems to comply with state regulations, with the Michigan Civil Service Commission stating, “A minimum of seven days from the date of posting or contact is recommended for applicants to respond.”

    There is, however, the possibility for such regulation to be waived. The University of Michigan’s guide says, “A unit may request a waiver of the posting requirement from the appropriate Human Resources office.”

    The consideration of a waiver request is based on “whether the legitimate business needs of the unit outweigh the University’s intent to provide notice of employment opportunities to the University community and others through the posting process.”

    Why Have College Programs Hired Their HC Quickly?

    The wait for a new head coach to be appointed goes against the grain of recent college football hires. Kalen DeBoer at Alabama, Jedd Fisch at Washington, Brent Brennan at Arizona, and Ken Niumatalolo at San Jose State have all been completed within 72 hours.

    One of the reasons for hires being made so quickly is consideration of the transfer portal. When there is a turnover in the head coach at a program, athletes have 30 days to enter the transfer portal.

    This has been utilized by a large group over the last few weeks, with a high turnover of coaches following the retirement of Nick Saban.

    Programs will want to retain as much talent as possible when hiring a new head coach, and the quicker someone can get in the building and sell their vision, the hope is more talent will stay in-house instead of exploring the market.

    This is, of course, simplistic, but the premise is the same. These are muddy waters for college football as the transfer postal changes how programs operate.

    Who Will Replace Jim Harbaugh as Michigan Wolverines Head Coach?

    No matter how long it takes for Michigan to announce who the next head coach will be, one candidate appears to be a shoo-in for the role. Wolverines offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore is the clear leader, with ESPN reporting on January 24 that “Moore is expected to be offered the job barring an unexpected development.”

    ESPN also claims that “Moore is scheduled to meet with Michigan officials Thursday and has already started reaching out to potential candidates to be a part of his staff.”

    While the timeline doesn’t indicate an immediate hire, Moore is the likely appointment. The OC stood in as HC for the Wolverines in four games in 2023 due to Harbaugh serving suspension.

    Moore held his own, winning every game, including two of the biggest games of Michigan’s season against Penn State and Ohio State.

    Moore could likely have taken an HC job elsewhere this cycle. Instead, he has stayed put, probably expecting to be in contention if Harbaugh were to leave. The succession of Moore as the replacement could be key for Michigan to retain talent.

    Players know Moore; they respect him and know he can win games. It may mean that the Wolverines are not impacted by defections to the transfer portal as other programs have been.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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