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Talk with wife pushed Drevno’s return to UM sidelines

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Coaches' wives rarely get enough credit, but a dinner conversation with Shannon Drevno made her husband, Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno, think strongly that it was time to move from the box to the field during games.

Drevno, who spent the first two seasons at Michigan on the field, decided to call the game from the press box this year. After Michigan’s blowout loss at Penn State, he moved back to the field starting with the home game against Rutgers, and that’s where he has been the last three games and where he will be going forward.

“I was having my dinner with my wife, and we were talking about it,” Drevno said Wednesday before practice. “She didn’t advise it, but she was just kinda asking, and it kinda dawned on me, like, ‘You know, maybe that is right, maybe I should go back down there. Maybe it’s something that’s kinda been pulling on me for a couple weeks.’ I just did it. Just the football instincts. You never want to go against your instincts. You’ve gotta feel your gut and feel what’s best and if you feel like that’s best, you’re making the right decision for the team. So I did.”

He had decided before the season to go up to the press box and call the game with first-year pass-game coordinator Pep Hamilton.

“I felt I go up there, I could see it, adjust the game plan, kinda see the field better,” Drevno said. “Pep was up there, we could communicate.”

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Drevno’s gut feeling told him being on the field would help encourage the linemen and even redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters, who took over as the starter late in the first quarter of the Rutgers game.

He could get a first-hand feel for the mentality and emotions of the linemen and adjust the game from that aspect.

“I felt like being around the O-linemen all week, I’m in the room with them, (tackles and tight ends coach) Greg (Frey’s) down there, I thought two experts down there working together seeing them, talking to the linemen, talking about looks we did see on the film, we could talk through that and just that.

“I just feel more comfortable down there. Upstairs is really good, I can see everything, but I kind of like the chaos, the intensity, the swing, the ebb and flow, kind of gets my blood flowing, gets my juices going. I feel like I coach better when I’m on edge when you’ve got to make a quick decision.”

With Peters, he can discuss upcoming plays and the different things he needs to look for.

What has the overall difference been for Drevno since he’s been on the field?

“We’ve been winning. Has it been attributed to me being on the field? No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think that I’ve had more interaction with those guys to make some different game-time decisions. I think it’s helped. But those guys have been playing better. It’s been a whole team effort, not just me being on the sidelines.”