Who Should be Michigan's Next Defensive Coordinator?

Who will be the next defensive coordinator for Michigan Football? Explore the top candidates and their potential impact on the team's success. Don't miss this crucial staff decision!

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore against the
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Phil Parker

Phil Parker's name has to be at least mentioned on this list. I don't think that this is a very likely hire, however, Parker, who has served as the defensive coordinator for Iowa the past twelve seasons, has become arguably the best defensive coordinator in college football. He doesn't have the best players at Iowa and he doesn't implement a wide variety of complex schemes, but he gets his players to play extremely fundamentally sound football. The Hawkeye's defense is always disciplined and structurally sound under him and it makes life miserable for opposing offenses who have to earn every yard. While this would be a great hire, I don't know how much interest either side actually has.

Chris Hewitt

The last name on this list would be the most in line with Michigan's previous two defensive coordinator hires. Hewitt- the current passing game coordinator and secondary coach for the Baltimore Ravens, would be able to keep the scheme that has made Michigan so successful the previous three years. He's spent time as a coach in the college game, but spent the previous decade rising up in the ranks of the Baltimore Raven's staff. He's extremely familiar with the scheme Michigan wants to continue to run.

The downside is that Hewitt has no ties to the Michigan program and would likely have his eye on a return to the NFL. Additionally, there is no guarantee that he is going to continue the success of Mike MacDonald and Jesse Minter just because he has a very similar background.

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I think there is a degree of hesitancy in making this hire too quickly. Both of Michigan's previous DCs have been home run hires with Mike MacDonald (2021) now the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and Minter (2022-23) on his way to the NFL with the Chargers and a likely NFL head coach sometime in the future as well. It's going to be hard to get this hire right a third time and no matter how good the replacement is it's likely going to feel like a step down. If I had to bet I'd say Moore stays in house with Clinkscale. Ultimately Moore just has to take a shot on whoever he feels best about being the right fit and not worry about trying to find someone to be better than Minter.