Michigan football has hired former star tailback Mike Hart to be their new running backs coach.
It appears Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh is quickly trying to right the ship after making his contract extension official. The program is bringing back its all-time leading rusher, Mike Hart as the running backs coach.
Hart played for the Wolverines from 2004-2007, the last time the program had been really relevant. Hart amassed 5,040 rushing yards on 1,015 carries totaling 41 touchdowns, which ranks third in program history.
Hart finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2006 after totaling 1,562 rushing yards, nearly five yards per carry, while finding the endzone 14 times on the ground. Hart followed up that stellar season in ’07, galloping for 1,361 yards, 14 touchdowns for the second straight year in three fewer games played (10).
Hart wouldn’t be very productive as a professional but did land with the Indianapolis Colts 202nd overall in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Hart appeared in 21 games with the Colts over three seasons making one start; he totaled 264 yards on 71 totes scoring twice.
Hart recently expressed his excitement about rejoining his alma mater;
“Michigan has always held a special place in my heart,” Hart said in a statement released by the school. “It is a place that always believed in me and a place that I have always have believed in. I am excited to join Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan staff, and can’t wait to get to work with a talented running back group.”
After his professional days, Hart started to cut his teeth as an assistant at the college ranks, starting at Eastern Michigan as a quality control assistant.
From there, he’d be promoted to running backs coach and since held that same title during various stops over the years, including Western Michigan, Syracuse, and Indiana, from 2017 to the conclusion of the 2020 season. Before the start of the 2020 season, Hart had been promoted to assistant head coach.
Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh had some kind words to say about Hart after completing the hire;
“Mike is a great coach and Michigan Man who has shown the ability to develop and elevate the performance of the running backs that he has mentored,” Harbaugh said in the released statement. “We look forward to welcoming Mike, Monique and their children to the Michigan Football family.”
Some more good news, Hart found offensive production in an Indiana offense that certainly won’t jump out at you over the past three seasons coaching up running back Stevie Scott. Over the past three years, Scott has achieved 2,543 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns, exactly 10 each season.
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We’ll leave you with one final bright spot with this hire; Hart was nominated as one of the nation’s top-25 recruiters for the 2019 Hoosiers class. Exactly what the doctor ordered for Jim Harbaugh. This is a strong hire for the Michigan football program.