Michigan officially rounds out defensive football staff

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan’s defensive staff is complete with the formal announcements of Maurice Linguist as co-defensive coordinator and George Helow as safeties coach.

Defensive line coach Shaun Nua, whose two-year contract expired last week, will return along with linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, who coached his first season at Michigan last fall. Linguist will coach cornerbacks.

Maurice Linguist

Mike Macdonald was announced last Sunday as defensive coordinator.

“Maurice and George are outstanding additions to our defensive coaching staff,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said in the release on Wednesday. “They are highly regarded and well-respected coaches who have worked with some of the top defensive minds in college football.

“Their experience at some of the top programs in the country will benefit our team and student-athletes.”

Linguist most recently coached the Dallas Cowboys' secondary but has spent time coaching college at Texas A&M and Minnesota.

“I look forward to leading and serving the young men in the program, developing life-long relationships, and competing at the highest of levels on the field,” Linguist said in a statement.

Helow was at Maryland coaching special teams and inside linebackers last season. He spent four seasons at Colorado State before joining the Terps. 

The changes were made after Harbaugh last month fired defensive coordinator Don Brown after five seasons. Cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich, who was part of Harbaugh’s original staff here in 2015, was not renewed. Quarterbacks coach Ben McDaniels also was not renewed.

Harbaugh recently signed an extension that takes him through 2025. His first announced hire last week was Mike Hart, Michigan’s all-time leading rusher, as running backs coach. It has been speculated Jay Harbaugh, who coached running backs, will focus on special teams.

It has been a busy week for Michigan, as 11 early enrollees who signed last month during the early signing period, arrived to begin classes Tuesday. Willie Allen, the graduate transfer offensive lineman from Louisiana Tech, also was formally announced Tuesday.

Meanwhile, running back Chris Evans and tight end Nick Eubanks confirmed what was expected, that they will not return to Michigan and are preparing for the NFL Draft. Also, running back Zach Charbonnet, who set a freshman record with 11 touchdowns in 2019, and defensive lineman Luiji Vilain have entered their names in the NCAA transfer portal.


Twitter: @chengelis