Maurice Linguist left Michigan for 'incredible opportunity' as Buffalo head coach

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Maurice Linguist, calling the head-coaching position at Buffalo “too good” not to accept, said he would have remained at Michigan had it not been for this opportunity.

Linguist was hired in January to Jim Harbaugh’s staff as co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

Maurice Linguist

Now, he’s the head coach at Buffalo, made official Monday during a news conference. Linguist, 37, was hired Friday to replace Lance Leipold, who left Buffalo two weeks ago to become head coach at Kansas. This is the first head coaching job for Linguist, who played at Baylor, and was on the Buffalo staff in 2012 and 2013.

Linguist signed a two-year contract with Michigan in January and was set to make $680,000 this year and $690,000 the second year. He is not obligated to pay a buyout, because he left for head-coaching job outside of the Big Ten East division.

“I would still be at Michigan if it weren’t for this incredible opportunity here,” Linguist told reporters Monday. “I have a lot of familiarity with the University at Buffalo, a lot of great memories that we want to bring back and continue to build on.”

Linguist's deal with Buffalo, which extends from May 10 to Dec. 31, 2025, will pay an annual base salary of $475,000 and annual additional compensation of $200,000, according to the Buffalo News. If Linguist terminates the contract before Dec. 15, 2021, he will owe $1.5 million.

Harbaugh, in a tweet posted Saturday, extended his congratulations to Linguist.

“I am happy for Mo Linguist and his family on this opportunity to be head coach at the University of Buffalo," Harbaugh posted on Twitter. "We are excited for Coach Mo and know that he will do great things as a head coach."

Linguist spent the 2020 season with the Dallas Cowboys coaching defensive backs, before coming to Michigan.

Twitter: @chengelis