Greg Frey, Wolverine . . . again

Greg Frey, Wolverine . . . again


January 25, 2017

Greg Frey (image via Twitter)

Indiana co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Greg Frey is now Michigan run game coordinator/offensive tackles/tight ends coach Greg Frey. As has been rumored for several days, the former Michigan coach (2008-2010) is returning to Ann Arbor.

Frey is from Clearwater, FL and went on to play college football at Florida State under Bobby Bowden from 1992-1996. He then coached at South Florida, where Kenyatta Jones was the first offensive lineman drafted from the school. He coached at West Virginia with Rich Rodriguez before being brought to Michigan. Since his last stint in Ann Arbor, he was co-OC/OL coach at Indiana, where he developed offensive guard Dan Feeney into an All-American and helped Jason Spriggs become a 2nd round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2016.

Let me repeat: He developed a 2nd round pick and an All-American. At Indiana. And those are two separate people, not just one.

Additionally, he helped to develop David Molk into a Rimington Award winner (though technically that came one year after Frey left), and he helped to recruit and develop Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield. The 2008 season was rather forgettable, but Michigan improved significantly in 2009 and 2010 with little in the way of experienced talent. (Lewan and Schofield redshirted as freshmen in 2009.) With a good deal less talent, Michigan had some decent offensive lines in those days that helped Denard Robinson run for oodles of yards and allowed him time to complete almost 63% of his passes.

With the arrival of Frey, Tim Drevno has responsibilities for the centers and guards. Jim Harbaugh used this setup previously at Stanford when he had a C/OG coach and an OT/TE coach. Frey has limited experience coaching tight ends, but they do often work in concert with the tackles on combo blocks, and some of the pass sets are similar. This also potentially creates a line of succession if Drevno leaves for a head coaching or coordinator job after next season.

On top of the day-to-day work with the team, Frey has been a solid recruiter and has ties to the state of Florida. I think this is a positive move for the program overall, and the mediocre offensive line has been holding Michigan back for the past couple seasons. Getting another set of eyes on the offensive line and maybe some more one-on-one tutelage or different ideas on how to run the ball might get the Wolverines going in a more positive direction.

As a result of hiring Frey, Jay Harbaugh will now move over to coach the running backs after Tyrone Wheatley left for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Harbaugh has little to no experience with running backs, but the same could be said for his previous role with the tight ends. In his two years at Michigan, the units that he’s been responsible for have produced a Mackey Award winner (Jake Butt) and a bunch of blocked kicks. While it’s not a sure thing that he continues to have success with the running backs, there’s no evidence that he will be holding the team back with the way he coaches the running backs.

9 comments

  1. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 25, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Very exciting get for the staff. I didn’t know they had done the same thing at Stanford, and do that I say — what took so long. Drevno was probably overextended in the OC/RGC/OL role.

    Frey should be a huge asset. In addition to all that he turned Pat Omameh (a 2-star DL recruit) into an NFL starter. Omameh seemed to regress dramatically from his 2009 and 2010 seasons to 2011 and 2012. Then in the NFL he was suddenly a starter. This is a big reason why I think Frey is great and Funk stinks. The majority of Frey’s guys got better every year. The majority of Funk’s guys either had it or didn’t and we saw little in the way of year-to-year improvement.

    • Comments: 191
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      crazyjoedavola
      Jan 25, 2017 at 3:27 PM

      Yes this is huge, Drevno has been a bit disappointing so far and Frey has proved himself at his last 2 stops.

      • Comments: 134
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        AC1997
        Jan 25, 2017 at 6:03 PM

        I’m not ready to judge Drevno yet (though it is tempting), but the Omameh story is probably his biggest claim to fame at Michigan. He arrived in 2008 as a no-name recruit with zero expectations. When RichRod left he was known as an agile and athletic guard that loved to smash LB. In his time under Hoke he regressed and was seen as a disappointment. Now he’s a multi-year starter in the NFL.

        Yes please!

        • Comments: 191
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          crazyjoedavola
          Jan 25, 2017 at 9:38 PM

          I think that Drevno is a good coach but being the Oline coach and the OC might be a bit too much to ask of him. What Frey did at Indiana is very impressive.

  2. Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jan 25, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    Indiana has only one recruit at the tackle position for 2017 that is not already enrolled, 6’9″ 380 lbs., Caleb Jones.

    • Comments: 1357
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Jan 25, 2017 at 3:12 PM
    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 25, 2017 at 3:18 PM

      That’s a typo right? Rivals says 320 and that appears more realistic.

      Any 320 pound kid with only MAC level offers isn’t going to be ready to play in 2017. The recruiting class needs to be geared towards 2018 and 2019, which means Michigan needs to be looking on the inside as well for a potential replacement for Cole and perhaps more if Bredeson is moved to OT.

  3. Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jan 25, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Allen at IU really blundered here. He should of have just promoted Frey to OC, and asked him to slow things down, if that was what he wanted. Allen more or less traded Frey for Debord – that’s a bad move to start his tenure.

  4. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 25, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Respect to Harbaugh for bucking convention with job titles. It’s a great way to ‘promote’ staff you want to retain without actually giving more responsibility.

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