Another potential DC candidate for Michigan football, plus latest on Clink

There is another name to know for the Michigan football defensive coordinator position if Joe Cullen doesn't accept the job. Plus, the latest on Steve Clinkscale.
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator Don  Wink
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator Don Wink / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As it stands, Michigan football doesn't have a single defensive assistant set to return for next season. It was confirmed on Tuesday that Mike Elston will follow Jim Harbaugh to the Chargers.

Losing the defensive line coach is another huge blow. Elston is a great developer of talent. He's also a great recruiter. But you can't blame him for leaving for the NFL. It's a much easier job for one. You don't have to recruit or worry about NIL. You just coach football and get paid more.

it's also hard to blame Jim Harbaugh. They call it show business for a reason. It's not show friends. Harbaugh owes Michigan football nothing. Not a damn thing. He was hired to win for the Chargers and if he doesn't, guerss what, he'll get fired. Jim is trying to win. He's doing the same thing he did at Michigan and you can't fault him for that.

Still, it would be nice for Michigan football to actually have some continuity. It seems likely that Steve Clinkscale is going to leave as well according to Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider. It feels like Clink, the co-DC, was seeking play-calling duties and if he doesn't get that, you can understand him moving on. It's all part of the business.

Sherrone Moore certainly knew that hiring an outside DC would carry some risk. Joe Cullen of the Chiefs appears to be the top candidate. However, if Cullen says no, it seems like Wink Martindale, the former Ravens and Giants DC, could become a viable candidate.

Martindale essentially created the defensive system Michigan football is now using. He coordinated the Baltimore defense when both Jesse Minter and Mike Macdonald were on staff. Martindale also worked under Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky, so there are some loose ties.