Michigan Hires Sherrone Moore: What New Head Coach Means for Wolverines

Michigan Hires Sherrone Moore: What New Head Coach Means for Wolverines article feature image

Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images. Pictured: New Michigan head coach Sherrone Moore.

Two weeks ago during Michigan’s National Championship parade, Sherrone Moore was asked what UM meant to him.

“It (Michigan) means everything,” Moore said. “I love this place. I feel like I went to college here and hope one day I am called a Michigan man.”

Moore’s wish came true on Friday when he officially became a "Michigan man" and the school’s 21st head coach. Moore replaces Jim Harbaugh, who left to become coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

"I want to thank Coach Harbaugh for the faith that he has displayed in me over the past six years and for supporting my growth as a football coach during that time,” Moore said in a release. "… I have been preparing my entire coaching career for this opportunity and I can’t think of a better place to be head coach than at the University of Michigan.”

Moore, 37, becomes the seventh-youngest coach in FBS (he turns 38 on Feb. 3) and second-youngest Big Ten coach — he’s 66 days older than Oregon’s Dan Lanning. Despite his youth, he has plenty of experience.

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During Michigan’s 15-0 national title season, Moore, UM’s offensive coordinator, was acting head coach for four victories: Week 3 vs. Bowling Green and, most importantly, the final three games of the regular season at No. 10 Penn State, at Maryland and vs. No. 2 Ohio State.

"You've already got a glimpse of the shining star that he is,” Harbaugh said of Moore. “He's just phenomenal, so smart, works so hard at it. And really, really composed. Something goes wrong, 3, 2, 1, let it go. He's tremendous at that.

“Never better than he was in that two-minute drive in the Rose Bowl (semifinal win vs. Alabama) and in overtime. Knew he had to call the game, the drive of his life, and he did. Saw the same thing when he's coaching against Ohio State in the Big House.”

Moore didn’t find out until the day before the Penn State game he would be filling in for Harbaugh, who was suspended three games.

“The same thing when he went to Penn State,” Harbaugh said. “How about that? You got to go to Penn State, you find out the day before the game, in addition to your offensive line coaching duties, your offensive coordinating play duties and your play-calling duties, you're also going to make the head coach decisions as well? So, Sherrone Moore, shining star. No doubt about it.”

Moore’s legendary F-bomb-laced, tearful passionate interview after coaching UM to a win at Penn State showed how much Michigan means to him. And his players have the same appreciation for him.

Since Harbaugh’s departure, Michigan players and recruits have been lobbying on social media for Moore. Michigan All-American offensive lineman Zak Zinter tweeted, “No interviews needed. It’s Papa Moore’s time.”

No interviews needed. It’s Papa Moore’s time https://t.co/MeK8OuvsCv

— Zak Zinter (@zak_zinter) January 25, 2024

Besides receiving the support of the players and Harbaugh, Michigan wanted to move quickly to avoid losing players to the transfer portal, like the situations experienced at Alabama, Washington and Arizona.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel hinted this much on the day Harbaugh left.

“We are working quickly to hire the next head coach for the program and will do everything possible to keep this current staff and team together,” Manuel said.

Moore, who was not credited with the four coaching victories last season, will make his official debut in 2024 against Fresno State on Aug. 31. After that, the Wolverines are projected to face at least five Top 25 teams in their final 11 games.

On Sept. 7, the Wolverines host Texas — which will have special significance for Moore, who was a two-year starter at Oklahoma. The Big Ten schedule includes home games vs. USC, Michigan State and Oregon, plus road games at Washington and Ohio State.

If that schedule appears daunting, it is.

But Moore will be able to handle the challenge.

After all, this is the same guy who after playing at Derby (Kansas) High School walked on to Butler County Community College. Two years later, he had developed into a Power 5 recruit and went to Oklahoma.

After OU, he became a grad assistant at Louisville, where he was promoted to tight ends coach. After five seasons at UL, he went to Central Michigan for four seasons before being hired in 2018 by Harbaugh as Michigan’s tight ends coach. He eventually became offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator before becoming offensive coordinator in 2023.

“They don’t get any better,” Harbaugh said. “There’s been a lot of great line coaches. I can’t think of one better than Sherrone Moore, and he’s a great teacher. I will start with that. Teaching and coaching is synonymous. Tremendous passion for the game and for our players.

“Bleeds blue like nobody else. Just tremendous enthusiasm every single day. Smart, smart. Wicked smart. And just in every way, a Michigan man. He’s not afraid of any challenge or taking on any new challenge. But those are just to list a few.

“I mean (there’s) nobody I have more respect for than Sherrone Moore. Nobody that I worked with do I have more respect for. Like a brother. Like my own brother. And that trust, that friendship, that love goes both ways. That’s what I — that’s how I feel about Sherrone Moore.”

As for Moore, he already has a plan.

"Our standards will not change," he said in a release. "We will be a smart, tough, dependable, relentless, and enthusiastic championship-level team that loves football and plays with passion for the game, the winged helmet and each other."

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