Loyalty to Jim Harbaugh kept Chris Partridge at Michigan

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News


Chris Partridge

Ann Arbor – Michigan assistant coach Chris Partridge was courted by national champion Alabama early in the offseason, but turned down the opportunity in large part because of loyalty to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

Partridge earned a new contract with a sizable pay increase and new duties. He is now coaching safeties and is the special teams coordinator. His new two-year contract signed in January pays him $500,000 a year, an increase of $150,000 from his previous two-year contract.

There are a number of reasons Partridge decided to stay with the Wolverines, and he shared them Sunday during media availability.

“I guess the biggest thing is this is the place I wanted to be,” Partridge said. “I came back for the players, I came back because, to me, it’s like, we can do everything we want to do here. We can win a national championship. I love the school. I think the environment, the people I work with. … Hey, I can go and move on and coach for another great coach, but I felt like I didn’t need to make this whole thing a rat race and jump to the next job. I see that all over the place in college football and I wanted to be different.

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“It was easy for me to decide to stay. It would have been harder to leave no matter what the job was. The guys I’ve recruited that I have a really good relationship with, I just felt like it was better for me to see it out and see if we can do what we’ve come together to do. I appreciate Jim. I’ve got to be loyal to him. He gave me a shot. Not a lot of people would have gave a high school coach a shot.

“I walked into Jim’s office, ‘Coach, do you want me to stay?’


“‘Well, OK, I’m going to be loyal to you.’ That’s a big part of it, too.”

Still, being pursued by Alabama and Nick Saban was flattering.

“It’s awesome,” Partridge said. “You’re talking about team that just won the national championship. Obviously, it’s a shock at first. It would have been the ability to work with another great coach and see a different perspective, but at the same time, I kinda love what’s going on here.”