Michigan football makes addition of Mike Elston as defensive line coach official

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Mike Elston appeared at the Michigan High School Coaches Clinic last Friday wearing his black leather Michigan football leather jacket that commemorated the program’s 1997 national championship.

Although he wasn’t there in an official capacity, he made the introduction rounds with the Michigan assistants coaches he would soon be joining. Elston's hire as Michigan defensive line coach now is official, the program announced Monday.

Michigan made official Monday the hiring of Mike Elston as the Wolverines' defensive line coach.

Elston, who spent the last 12 years at Notre Dame, replaces Shaun Nua, who coached Michigan’s defensive line the last three seasons before departing for USC this month.

"I am excited to welcome Mike Elston to an already incredibly talented staff here at the University of Michigan," Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said in a statement. "I've followed Mike's work at Notre Dame for a while and have admired his ability to not only recruit great student-athletes, but also his proven track record in developing players for the NFL.

The 47-year-old Elston played for the Wolverines from 1993-1996 and was a student assistant with the Wolverines in 1997. He was then a video intern with Michigan in 1998 and a graduate assistant (1999-2000) working with outside linebackers.

"My family and I are beyond excited to return to the University of Michigan," Elston said in the release. “I can't get to campus fast enough to begin building relationships with the players, coaches, and staff within the football program."

There are now four former Michigan players on the coaching staff, including Harbaugh, running backs coach Mike Hart and safeties coach Ron Bellamy.

Michigan has added a seasoned defensive line coach who spent the last five seasons coaching that position at Notre Dame. He was elevated to defensive run-game coordinator and recruiting coordinator heading into the 2021 season.

Last season, Elston was part of the Notre Dame defensive staff that saw the defense ranked top-30 in five major areas, including pass efficiency defense (23rd), scoring defense (15th), interceptions (14th), sacks (13th), third-down conversion rate allowed (10th), and defensive touchdowns (seventh).

achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @chengelis