Michigan Football: Jay Harbaugh Impressing As Running Backs Coach

Chris Balas, Senior Editor


Some fans criticized Michigan head coach for hiring his son, Jay, as tight ends coach, citing lack of experience. That one worked out quite well. The younger Harbaugh has also made an impression on his running backs after moving to coach that position group this year.

Sophomore Chris Evans was among those impressed by his new postion coach.

“Coach Jay hit the ground running. The first day he had meetings prepared, slide shows ready … I was blown away like by how ready he was,” Evans said. “But I expected that. Just seeing him around Schembechler [Hall] … I didn't talk to him that much. But seeing that really blew me away.

“He’s familiar with the offense. I feel like Coach Jay is really on top of his stuff. It’s like a running backs coach never left. He jumped right in and was on board with everything we were doing.”

Former coach Tyrone Wheatley, now in Jacksonville as the NFL Jaguars’ running backs coach, taught him plenty, Evans continued. But much of what he preached applied to different style backs.

“It’s a different perspective because Coach Wheatley had the perspective of a big back, and I’m not a big back,” Evans said. “The things like the technique and things he was teaching me I couldn't get all the way because I couldn’t relate to them. Coach Jay didn’t play running back, but he’s looking outside in, so he gives a different perspective to the game.

“I think it favors the smaller backs more … Coach Wheatley was a bigger back, so that’s what the bigger backs needed.”

That said, Evans maintains a great relationship with his former coach.

“I talk to him a lot. He just tells me his side, just have long talks,” he said. “Every other day … I’ll send him clips of stuff I couldn’t do last year, just to be like, ‘hey coach … I’m getting better.’”

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