Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart's contract is for 2 years, $960K

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart, the program’s all-time leading rusher, has signed a two-year contract that includes a signing bonus and is eligible for team performance payments.

Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart

Hart will make $415,000 his first season and $430,000 the next and will receive a $115,000 signing bonus, according to the contract signed Jan. 12 and obtained Friday by The Detroit News through an open-records request. He most recently coached at Indiana, where, according to the Indianapolis Star, he made $375,001 this past season as running backs/associate head coach.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who recently signed an extension through 2025, has reshaped his staff and made Hart his first official hire. He has since hired defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, co-defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach Maurice Lingquist and George Helow to coach safeties.

If Hart leaves Michigan for another job before the end of his contract, he will pay an amount equal to 25% of his base salary for the applicable year as a buyout. If he leaves for a Big Ten job, it's increased to 50%. There's no buyout if Hart leaves for a coordinator or head coaching position with an FBS or FCS team or an NFL job.

Should Michigan fire Hart without cause, he will receive any earned team performance payments and the amount of his outstanding base salary in monthly installments, subject to Hart seeking employment “as soon as possible,” according to the contract.

“Michigan has always held a special place in my heart," Hart, 34, said in a release when his hire was made official. "It is a place that always believed in me and a place that I have always have believed in. I am excited to join Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan staff, and can't wait to get to work with a talented running back group."

Hart has been a Michigan fan-favorite since he arrived as a freshman in 2004 from Syracuse, N.Y. At Onondaga Central High School, he set the national high school career record with 204 rushing touchdowns and finished second with 11,045 rushing yards.

At Michigan, he was a four-year starter at running back. Hart set the school record with 5,040 yards on 1,015 carries and 41 rushing touchdowns. He also holds the Michigan record with 28 100-yard rushing games and his 117.2 rushing yards per game remains best in school history.


Twitter: @chengelis