Former Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier will now engineer the Michigan offense. (Vasha Hunt / Associated Press)
Just hours after Michigan fired offensive coordinator Al Borges, several reports confirm Doug Nussmeier, most recently the offensive coordinator at Alabama, will take the same position with the Wolverines.
According to a sourced report on CBSSports.com Wednesday night, Nussmeier, who also coached quarterbacks, has been hired to join Brady Hoke’s staff at Michigan.
A Michigan official said the school is “not confirming anything at this point.”
Nussmeier, 43, replaces Borges, who spent three seasons at Michigan. The Wolverines were 7-6 this season, and the offense was ranked 86th nationally and 102nd in rushing offense.
Nussmeier was a quarterback at Idaho, then had a brief NFL career before moving to the CFL where he began his coaching career.
He has some Big Ten experience having coached quarterbacks at Michigan State from 2003-2005 and worked with Drew Stanton, now with the Arizona Cardinals, and Jeff Smoker.
“Doug Nussmeier is everything as advertised and more,” Stanton told The News Wednesday night. “He has an unbelievable approach to the game that demands a lot out of his players but also has a way of making every day fun. He represents what college football should be all about. He’s going to make a great head coach some day, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I was literally in tears when he left my junior year at Michigan State.”
He most recently was the offensive coordinator at Alabama. Nussmeier also was offensive coordinator at Fresno State and Washington for three seasons before moving to Tuscaloosa.
Nussmeier made $681,500 last season. Michigan has shown it is willing to pay its coordinators with two of the top-nine highest-paid coordinators. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison made $851,400 (fourth highest) last season and Borges made $709,300 (ninth).
In his first season at Alabama, the Tide set records for rushing/passing touchdowns scored (68), total points (542), total offense (6,237) and passing touchdowns (31).
A telephone message was left with Nussmeier.
Hoke, coming off a 7-6 record in his third season as head coach fired Borges, who came to Michigan in 2011 with Hoke from San Diego State, on Wednesday. Hoke met individually with members of the offensive coaching staff on Wednesday afternoon, a source said, and informed Borges at the meeting.
“Decisions like these are never easy,” Hoke said in a release. “I have a great amount of respect for Al as a football coach and more importantly as a person. I appreciate everything he has done for Michigan football these past three seasons.”
This comes about a month after Hoke told reporters he anticipated his staff would return intact for the 2014 season, however, he had added he would evaluate the team before and after the bowl game. Michigan lost to Kansas State, 31-14, and gained 261 yards of offense and was 4-of-11 on third down. Michigan’s running backs gained 13 yards rushing in that game.
The Wolverines struggled to establish a balanced, consistent offensive performance during the most recent season and saw little improvement in key areas, particularly the interior of the offensive line, which featured three new starters. Michigan started five different offensive line combinations during the season.
Michigan finished the season ranked poorly nationally in several key offensive areas.
The Wolverines ranked 102nd in rushing, averaging 125.7 yards, the program’s second-worst output since 1962. In four of their final six games, they had minus-48 rushing yards, minus-21, 60 and 65 in the bowl game.
They were 86th in total offense (373.5 yards), 73rd in third-down percentage average, 105th (of 123) in sacks allowed and 121st in tackles for loss allowed.
“Every coach at the end of the year, if they’re honest with themselves, they evaluate themselves -- What did I do right? What did I do wrong? How can I get better?” Chris Spielman, ESPN college football analyst, said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “The head coach has a responsibility to evaluate this staff -- what areas did they do well? What did they not do well, and why? If Hoke feels the offense digressed, why did it digress?
“If he feels the best way to fix it is to let coach Borges go, he has to do whatever he has to do to get Michigan back to Michigan, which I’m waiting for, coach Hoke is waiting for and Michigan fans are waiting for. I wasn’t surprised (by the Borges firing) because (the offense) was inconsistent. Al Borges is a good football coach, but for whatever reasons, it wasn’t working. The offensive line, by their own admission and by watching it, was inconsistent. If the offense is not working with what we’re doing, let’s find a way to make it work. I think coach Hoke needs to define who Michigan is, what they’re running and run it. I think Al Borges is a good coach. It just didn’t work. Doesn’t mean the guy can’t coach, he just didn’t fit.”