Where did Rich Rodriguez’s staff go?

Where did Rich Rodriguez’s staff go?


May 6, 2011
Running backs coach Fred Jackson was the only coach to survive the Rich Rodriguez tenure. (Ann Arbor.com)

Adam Braithwaite (Safeties coach, 2010)
Braithwaite was fired along with the rest of the defensive staff in January.  He was recently hired by Christopher Newport University to be the team’s defensive coordinator.

Tony Dews (Wide receivers coach, 2008-2010)

Dews was hired by new coach Todd Graham at Pitt shortly after the staff was fired from Michigan.  He will be the Panthers tight ends coach.

Greg Frey (Offensive line coach, 2008-2010)
Frey was hired by new coach Kevin Wilson at Indiana shortly after the staff was fired from Michigan.  He will be the Hoosiers offensive line coach.

Tony Gibson (Defensive backs coach, 2008-2010)
Gibson was hired by new coach Todd Graham at Pitt shortly after the staff was fired from Michigan.  He will be the Panthers cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator.

Jay Hopson (Linebackers coach, 2008-2009)
Hopson was hired by Memphis prior to the 2010 season to be the defensive coordinator and safeties coach.  The Tigers were #116 in total defense and #110 in scoring defense prior to Hopson’s arrival.  Memphis finished 2010 with the #115 squad in total defense (460.67 yards/game) and the #117 scoring defense (39.83 points/game).

Calvin Magee (Offensive coordinator/tight ends coach, 2008-2010)
Magee was hired by new coach Todd Graham at Pitt shortly after the staff was fired from Michigan.  He will be the Panthers co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach.

Greg Robinson (Defensive coordinator, 2009-2010)
Robinson’s current whereabouts are unknown.  Rumor has it that he’s been auditioning for Just for Men commercials.

Scott Shafer (Defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach, 2008)
Shafer was fired after the 2008 season.  He was then hired by Syracuse to be its defensive coordinator.  Syracuse had been #101 in both total defense and scoring defense prior to Shafer’s arrival, but they improved to #37 in total defense and #81 in scoring defense by 2009.  Syracuse finished 2010 at #7 in total defense (301.46 yards/game) and #17 in scoring defense (19.31 points/game).

Rod Smith (Quarterbacks coach, 2008-2010)
Smith was hired by new coach Kevin Wilson at Indiana shortly after the staff was fired from Michigan.  He will be the Hoosiers quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator.

Bruce Tall (Defensive line coach, 2008-2010)
Tall was hired by Charlotte to be the program’s first defensive coordinator.

11 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    JDVan
    Apr 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Has Shafer ever publicly spoken about the way RR interacted with the D during his time here? We've heard about forcing the 3-3-5 on coordinators and that led to their failure. Curious with his leaving and great success what he has to say about the the situation.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Apr 26, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    @ JDVan 9:52 a.m.

    As far as I know, Shafer has never spoken publicly about the Michigan job, except for a polite "I'm sorry it didn't work out" right after he departed.

    Considering he's been successful everywhere else (WMU, Stanford, Syracuse) and the rest of the staff was horrible at creating a defense, I would guess he has some confidence in his abilities.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Anonymous
    Apr 26, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    If only RichRod had simply hired Shafer and then told him "run whatever defense you want and hire whatever position coaches you want." We might have won 9 or 10 games last year.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Anonymous
    Apr 26, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    I am convinced that RR's approach to Schafer is his single greatest error at Michigan. He identified a great talent at defensive coaching and hired him – smart move. But, he was too loyal to Gibson and his other assistants over Schaefer – big mistake.

    It'll be interesting to see how Gibson does at Pitt.

    I'd guess that MaGee and the other offensive staff (the guys at Pitt and Indiana) will do pretty well.

    -Lankownia

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Apr 26, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    I agree that Shafer was in a weird situation. I really believed in him when he was first hired, but he was severely undermined by Rodriguez or his staff. I truly felt bad for him, because I think he was a total outsider. Sometimes I wonder if his fellow defensive staff guys felt a little jealous because he was given the DC job and they weren't, but that's pure speculation.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Painter Smurf
    Apr 27, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    This may be off, but I get the sense that RR was not up-front with the defensive coaches when he hired them during the transition. All of them probably felt they were qualified to be DC's. And it seemed like Hopson in particular was hired with the possibility of being a DC, depending upon whether or not RR's other DC targets would sign on. This, along with the outsider status of Shafer probably led to the disastrous mutiny in 2009. All of the initial defensive coaches were DB specialists. And to have an unusually tight relationship with one of your most mediocre coaches (Gibson) was just odd. RR's defensive staff management just reeked of an offensive coordinator taking on HC duties in his spare time. His staff management and relationships with the coaches was so blatantly poor at UM, I wonder if that will prevent him from getting another big job. I think the best he can hope for is to land at a place like Louisville or Tulsa and try to earn his way back into a top program.

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    JDVan
    Apr 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Thunder are you Magnus?

  8. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Apr 27, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    @ JDVan 6:20 p.m.

    Yes.

  9. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    MH20
    Apr 29, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    When you say Charlotte, are you referring to UNC-Charlotte? In what division will their new football program being playing?

  10. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Anonymous
    Apr 29, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    MH20 – Charlotte (or UNC Charlotte) will play as an FCS independent for the 2013 & 2014 seasons. New campus stadium is expandable to 40k and there's a strong desire to play at the FBS level … but new ncaa rules forbid new schools to play as an FBS independent (you now gotta have a conference invite to play in FBS)

  11. Avatar
    Comments: 21438
    Anonymous
    May 06, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    I swear Gerg moved in down the street from my parents in Toledo. I'm going to try and get a picture.

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