Michigan didn’t have to look far to find Jim Harbaugh’s replacement.
The Wolverines promoted offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore to become their next head coach, the school announced Friday. Moore had been the “significant favorite” to replace Harbaugh almost immediately after he made the jump back to the NFL and took the open head job with the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) January 27, 2024
Moore has thrived during his time at Michigan, and he went 4-0 last season while Harbaugh was serving multiple suspensions. Moore led the Wolverines past No. 10 Penn State — which prompted an emotional, tearful speech on the field after the win — and then to a huge win over No. 2 Ohio State to close out the regular season. That secured the Wolverines' spot in the Big Ten title game for a third straight season, where they rolled past Iowa, which eventually led them to their national championship win.
Moore, who played football himself at Oklahoma, first joined Michigan in 2018 as a tight ends coach after stints as an assistant at Louisville and Central Michigan. He quickly rose up the ranks in Ann Arbor, and was promoted to offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator in 2021. He became the sole offensive coordinator for the 2023 season, and successfully held the team down while Harbaugh dealt with his two suspensions both at the beginning and end of the year. He also led the Wolverines to consecutive Joe Moore Awards, which is given to the top offensive line in the country, something that no other college football program has pulled off.
Can Sherrone Moore keep Michigan’s run alive?
Now in his first run as a head coach, Moore has an incredibly tough task in front of him.
Michigan has dominated the Big Ten in recent years under Harbaugh. He led the Wolverines to three straight Big Ten championships and College Football Playoff appearances before they went undefeated this past season and won the school’s first national title since 1997 earlier this month. After going just 2-4 in the shortened COVID-19 season in 2020, Michigan compiled an impressive 40-3 record over the last three seasons and, perhaps just as notable, did not lose to Ohio State.
With Michigan keeping Moore around, he’s likely going to be able to keep much of Harbaugh’s old staff together — which should help keep as many players out of the transfer portal as possible. The Wolverines will be without star quarterback J.J. McCarthy next season, however, as he’s declared for the NFL Draft. That should lead the way for Alex Orji to be the team’s starter in 2024. Running back Blake Corum is headed to the draft, too, after his career season.
Moore and Michigan will open the 2024 season against Fresno State before hosting Texas — which is the only team that made the College Football Playoff to retain its head coach — on Sept. 7, where he’ll face his first true test leading the Wolverines full time.