Michigan football fans: Give Sherrone Moore a chance to succeed

When Sherrone Moore walked off the field on the last Saturday in November, most Michigan football fans felt that they had their coach of the future. For many of those same fans, they felt that was still the case when he was announced as the 21st head coach in school history last week on Friday.

But in the ensuing days, there has been a lot of second-guessing — if not full-blown melting down — about the hire.

Why is that?

The departure of defensive coordinator Jesse Minter was likely if not a foregone conclusion. But coupled with Ben Herbert also joining former head coach Jim Harbaugh in Los Angeles, that was the catalyst for uproar. For the past few years, the strength and conditioning coach was lauded as the reason why Michigan went on a three-year tear, and he was widely looked at as indispensable, the one person Moore could not afford to lose upon the outset of his new tenure.

But as Bo Schembechler once said, ‘No man is more important than The Team.’

It suddenly appeared to be a rocky start for Moore as he works to assemble his new staff, having to hold Harbaugh back from taking his own plunder. But that’s to be expected, that Harbaugh would want to bring many with him to the Chargers.

It’s clear that Michigan football fans aren’t accustomed to this type of turnover because Michigan football has not been through this before — a coach leaving for another job of their own volition. Not since the days when head coaches were also players — back in the late 1800s — have the Wolverines seen coaches on other sidelines without having decided that that was in said coach’s best interest. When coaches have left, generally, it’s been due to retirement or firing, not choosing to go elsewhere. But when Harbaugh left Stanford, he likewise brought many from the Cardinal with him to San Francisco, including his strength and conditioning coach at the time, Kevin Tolbert.

And guess what? David Shaw, his successor, still had years of accomplishments in Palo Alto, keeping Stanford atop the Pac-12.

Understandably, Moore’s road is much more difficult. Not only does he have to contend with an Ohio State program that is darn near hanging an offseason banner due to the number of top-ranked transfers coming into Columbus, but Oregon and USC — both of whom are on the schedule this year — also join the conference. There are multiple obstacles in Moore’s way.

But as history has shown, even with this newfangled NIL landscape, Michigan has tended to attract talent — on and off the field. Certainly, there are many who blame athletic director Warde Manuel for the departures, but it more and more appears that there is little he could have done given what the NFL is offering.

At this juncture, there are no announced on-field staffers staying, but there are reports of some retained, while others — Mike Elston and Steve Clinkscale — have been actively recruiting on the road. Let Moore assemble his staff, let’s see what he does come the actual season before burying him in your malaise.

There’s a stark contrast to how Moore is viewed by his fanbase at the moment compared to a similar hire at a similar school. Marcus Freeman was widely lauded as an incredible head coach before he even coached Notre Dame to a win, and while the results in South Bend haven’t quite lived up to the lofty standards not even attained by his predecessor Brian Kelly, it’s still a nationally competitive program that’s viewed to be on the up-and-up. Just because Moore hasn’t gotten Michigan in that same conversation, just days after being announced as the head coach, doesn’t mean he won’t.

So relax. Let Moore do his thing. Let him assemble his staff and bring in recruits. After all, he hasn’t even hosted his first recruiting weekend. Perhaps he’ll surprise you and lure away some top talent — both coaching-wise and player-wise. Maybe what you saw on the field in the final stretch of 2023 had more to do with Moore than you think. After all, the identity of Michigan football over the past three years has been toughness and physicality up front, primarily on the offensive line.

Building the team off of the man who oversaw the unit most signifying the identity of the program is a good thing. So let’s see where it goes from here before resorting to melting down.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire