Chris Partridge, Ex-Wolverine

Chris Partridge, Ex-Wolverine


January 3, 2020
Chris Partridge (image via Wolverines Wire)

You probably know this already, but Michigan safeties coach and special teams coordinator Chris Partridge has signed on to coach at Ole Miss in some capacity under Lane Kiffin. Judging from recent developments and coaching staffs at Ole Miss – and with Kiffin himself – I expect this to be a very entertaining coaching tenure for Kiffin and crew. (He also hired former Michigan defensive coordinator and Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin, who was fired because Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair died.)

Hit the jump for more.

How big of a loss is this for Michigan? Partridge is known as an ace recruiter. He was the National Recruiter of the Year in 2017 to 247 Sports and helped land a bunch of New Jersey prospects, including Rashan Gary, Cesar Ruiz, etc. Just this year in 2020, he was primarily responsible for recruiting Makari Paige, R.J. Moten, Jordan Morant, and Cornell Wheeler. Michigan’s special teams were also solid with Giles Jackson returning a kickoff for a touchdown, Khaleke Hudson blocking multiple punts, etc. (Place kicking has been a little bit of an issue, but on-field coaches rarely have much expertise in kicking/punting.)

Michigan will need to hire an ace recruiter. I would expect them to hire someone who has connections to a talent-rich area. There is some flexibility on the defensive side of the ball with coaches being able to coach multiple positions, and Partridge had coached linebackers at one point. There has been a lot of chatter about hiring Devin Bush, Sr., who has been a staffer at Michigan but not an on-field coach; Bush was an outstanding coach in Florida before coming to Michigan in 2016 but has never coached at the college level. (Flanagan High School has gone 16-26 since Bush went 35-5 as their head coach from 2013-2015.) He was also a great player at Florida State and a 1st round pick at the safety position.

It was a good run for Partridge at Michigan. He went from being a high school coach to an outstanding recruiter to what appeared to be a solid coach on the field. There were some breakdowns from the safeties, but how much of that is standard player error and how much is coaching? A lot of people on the internet were clamoring for Don Brown to be fired and for Partridge to be elevated to Michigan’s head coach, which is one of the most absurd ideas you will ever come across. But . . . that’s the internet for you. There was no upward mobility for Partridge at Michigan. You don’t hire a guy as defensive coordinator at Michigan who was coaching in high school five years ago and has no coordinator experience.

10 comments

  1. Comments: 27
    Joined: 9/25/2019
    BigCatsFanLandP
    Jan 03, 2020 at 11:45 AM

    “You don’t hire a guy as defensive coordinator at Michigan who was coaching in high school five years ago and has no coordinator experience.”

    Good move for Chris then. Have to wonder did Kiffin hire him for his coaching or his recruiting? With Durkin also being brought in you certainly have a plan B.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 03, 2020 at 12:02 PM

      I think it’s probably a combination of the two. I think Partridge has done an adequate job of coaching, but his positional responsibility has been limited to just a couple guys. That’s probably a good idea for a guy without a ton of experience going into it. Maybe he’s earned more responsibility. And his recruiting has been very good, without question.

  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 03, 2020 at 11:58 AM

    D.J. Durkin wasn’t fired because some guy died he was fired because he played an active role in that kid’s death.

    It’s too strong to say he killed him, but he played a major role in the circumstances. Many other coaches have been around deaths in the program that they could have possibly prevented but few have been dismissed like Durkin did because you could draw a direct line from his actions to the death.

    You can find the parent and player quotes online. Durkin is responsible for what happened at Maryland. But – there are no long-term consequences for excellent football coaches who break rules and behave deplorably – we see that again and again.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 03, 2020 at 12:13 PM

      You’re right that coaches aren’t held accountable. Examples are numerous of that.

  3. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 03, 2020 at 11:59 AM

    The last paragraph nails it.

  4. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jan 03, 2020 at 4:05 PM

    I get why CP left, but to Co-DC with Durkin? I think having DJ on staff will hurt recruiting, big time

    How many of us would trust our kid to play for Durkin?

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 03, 2020 at 5:16 PM

      Maybe that’s why they’re pairing Durkin with a guy known for recruiting. And Partridge gets to learn how to manage bagmen. Win win.

      • Comments: 1863
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Jan 03, 2020 at 5:56 PM

        Kiffin also hired Briles son last year as OC. It’s too easy to recruit over Ole Miss with this staff

        Partridge had opportunities every year, even a Saban offer. Have to believe a better shot was out there

        • Comments: 295
          Joined: 12/19/2015
          Extrajuice
          Jan 04, 2020 at 1:21 AM

          Actually, Kiffins OC last season was Charlie Weis’s son, not Briles.

          • Comments: 1863
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Jan 04, 2020 at 10:24 AM

            Maybe it was the year before? I know he went soon after the Baylor mess

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