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Michigan officially hires linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary

clayton-sayfieby:Clayton Sayfie03/05/24

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It was reported Feb. 15 that Michigan Wolverines football was set to hire linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary from Tennessee, and now the addition has been made official, with the assistant showing up in the university’s directory. According to Volquest, Jean-Mary has inked a three-year deal with Michigan, after Tennessee made efforts to retain him.

Jean-Mary joins the staff under new head man Sherrone Moore after coaching linebackers at Michigan for one season in 2020, working under then-defensive coordinator Don Brown and head coach Jim Harbaugh. He departed for the same job with the Tennessee Volunteers, where he spent the last three seasons (2021-23).

Jean-Mary replaces Chris Partridge, who was let go Nov. 17, 2023, for apparent failure to follow university guidelines amid an NCAA investigation into the program for alleged illegal off-campus scouting. Rick Minter, now an analyst for the Los Angeles Chargers, took over linebacker coach duties on an interim basis for the final five games of Michigan’s 15-0 national championship-winning season.

Moore, who was Michigan’s tight ends coach in 2020, and Jean-Mary didn’t just coach together in Ann Arbor. The two spent time together in Louisville from 2010-13, when Jean-Mary was the assistant head coach and linebackers coach and Moore was a graduate assistant (2010-11) and tight ends mentor (2012-13).

Jean-Mary has made numerous other stops, including as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at South Florida (2017-19), linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas (2014-16), linebackers coach at Georgia Tech (2004-09) and secondary coach at North Alabama (2003). He began his career as a graduate assistant at Louisville (2000) and South Carolina (2001-02).

Michigan’s defensive staff has been completely revamped. The hires of coordinator Don Martindale and defensive line coach Greg Scruggs has have been made official, while the addition of defensive backs coach LaMar Morgan is expected soon.

Volquest’s Austin Price explained to TheWolverine.com why losing Jean-Mary was significant for Tennessee, and his hiring is a big boost for Michigan.

“What he did the last couple years, whether it be managing personalities, managing injuries, I thought he did a really nice job. He was kind of the right hand man to defensive coordinator Tim Banks,” Price said. “He did a really nice job of 1) building relationships with his guys, getting them to buy in and 2) kind of just managing the room.

“He’s just a guy that did a nice job developing what was there, and he’s done a nice job in recruiting. He’s added a couple really nice pieces and brought in a couple of nice transfers. That room just looks vastly different than what it looked like when he got here.”

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