Harbaugh hires Gattis away from Alabama to be Michigan's OC

LARRY LAGE (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches his team from the sidelines during the first half of their an NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches his team from the sidelines during the first half of their an NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh bounced back from losing two assistants to rival Ohio State with what looks like a strong addition to his staff.

Harbaugh hired Josh Gattis away from Alabama to be his offensive coordinator after losing assistants Greg Mattison and Al Washington to the Buckeyes on consecutive days this week.

And, Harbaugh gave Gattis a title on Thursday no one had last year when he said playing-calling was a collaborative effort.

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''The offense and passing games under Josh's direction have achieved at a very high level throughout his coaching career,'' Harbaugh said. ''Josh will provide leadership to our offense while being a great mentor to our student-athletes and an outstanding addition to our coaching staff.''

The 34-year-old Gattis was co-offensive coordinator last season for the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban has said Gattis is an outstanding recruiter with a promising future. Before going to Alabama, Gattis was Penn State's wide receivers coach and passing-game coordinator and led the program's offensive recruiting efforts the previous four seasons.

''It is an honor and a privilege to join the University of Michigan football family under Coach Harbaugh, one of the most successful head coaches in all of football,'' Gattis said. ''I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve as your offensive coordinator. This is the leadership challenge I've coveted. The football tradition at the University of Michigan is among the very best in college athletics. My family and I couldn't be more excited to arrive in Ann Arbor.''

Gattis, who is from Durham, North Carolina, was an All-ACC safety at Wake Forest. The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him in the fifth round in 2007 and he went on to have a brief career with the Chicago Bears.

He began his coaching career in 2010 as an offensive graduate assistant at North Carolina. Gattis coached wide receivers at Western Michigan in 2011 and led the same position group the following two seasons for James Franklin at Vanderbilt.

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