Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh close to naming 10th assistant

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh answers questions during his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday.

Ann Arbor – Michigan’s offensive coaching staff remains in flux as coach Jim Harbaugh interviews candidates for the 10th coaching position, a new addition to staffs this year across the country.

Harbaugh met with media Wednesday to discuss the Wolverines’ 2018 signing class, which consists of 19 players and is ranked No. 21 by 247Sports. They lost their top-rated recruit, Otis Reese, who had been committed since 2016, when he announced Wednesday morning he would stay home and attend Georgia.

But aside from wrapping up the recruiting class since Michigan’s Outback Bowl loss and 8-5 season, Harbaugh has made coaching hires and also lost one hire shortly after taking the job.

“Right now we are going through a self-scout period and looking at ways to get our offense up to where our defense is,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “All those (coaching) assignments are yet to be determined.”

Michigan added Sherrone Moore from Central Michigan to coach tight ends and Al Washington from Cincinnati to coach linebackers and assist with special teams. Chris Partridge signed a new contract with Michigan after being heavily pursued by Alabama and will coach safeties while also coordinating special teams and recruiting. He replaces safeties coach Brian Smith, who left before the bowl game to become defensive coordinator at Rice.

“Thrilled with the new additions,” Harbaugh said. “Sherrone Moore, Al Washington, I think they’re fantastic. I got a chance to go out on the road and be in offensive and defensive meetings with both and they’re tremendous.”

More: Allen Trieu breaks down Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class

Harbaugh reportedly has met with former Florida head coach Jim McElwain and former LSU coordinator Cam Cameron, who coached quarterbacks and receivers at Michigan from 1986-1993.

"The 10th coach, we’re going through the process of interviews,” Harbaugh said, adding the coach will be on the offensive side. “That’s going on today.”

Dan Enos, who spent the last three seasons as Arkansas’ offensive coordinator and was a quarterback at Michigan State, was on Harbaugh’s staff briefly as a new hire to coach receivers before leaving late last month to become quarterbacks coach at national champion Alabama.

Harbaugh clearly did not looked thrilled when asked if he was caught off-guard by Enos’ departure.

“You know exactly what transpired,” Harbaugh said. “He was here and left and went to Alabama.”

More: Blue Chip players talk best, worst of recruiting

With spring practice beginning March 22, Harbaugh said he intends to have the staff in place beforehand.

“It’s going to happen sooner,” he said. “We spend a lot of time and effort as we do, as I do, for each and every person that you hire.”

He does not anticipate any other staff departures.

Ben Herbert was named Michigan’s head strength and conditioning coach early last month. He is a former Wisconsin defensive lineman who was strength coach there and then at Arkansas.

“Coach Herbert and his staff are extremely hard working, very detailed and they hit the ground running,” Harbaugh said. “It’s early but already seeing positive results. Really felt we got the right man for the right job.”