Michigan football makes interesting defensive coordinator hire

Head coach Sherrone Moore and the Michigan football program are hiring longtime NFL assistant coach Wink Martindale to be their defensive coordinator, according to a report from Adam Schefter.

It’s a fascinating hire. Martindale is known across the NFL for his aggressive defensive approach and unconventional way of generating pressure on a quarterback. He is also known as a long-time NFL assistant coach — he hasn’t been in the college game since 2003.

Martindale spend 2022-2023 with the New York Giants, 2012-2021 with the Baltimore Ravens, 2009-2010 with the Denver Broncos and 2004-2008 with the Oakland Raiders. His last experience in the college game was as the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Western Kentucky from 2000-2003.

Martindale is well-regarded as a defensive coach, so that box is checked. But I’d call this an unconventional hire for Michigan — especially as the program looks to rebuild continuity after the Harbaugh era abruptly ended.

That abrupt end saw Harbaugh take the Chargers head coaching job and also bring with him top assistants including defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, safeties coach and special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh and strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.

New Wolverines head coach Sherrone Moore has work to do to return Michigan to the top of the conference. That work includes acing his coordinator hires and rebuilding a roster that loses much of the production from the National Championship-winning team.

Moore was in part hired to maintain continuity from the previous successful regime. That continuity looks tough to come by as he’s tasked with rebuilding an entire coaching staff.

Martindale may turn out to be a terrific hire, time will tell. What can be said: this hire does not aid continuity.

Wisconsin avoids playing Michigan this season but does visit Ann Arbor in 2025. It’s worth monitoring how the succession play to Moore works out, as the Badgers will have a chance to regain supremacy in the battle between the two programs.

Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire