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3 Possible Replacements for Brian Smith as Michigan’s secondary coach


Michigan’s safeties coach Brian Smith is headed to Rice in a new role as defensive coordinator.

Smith spent two full seasons in Ann Arbor – his first time coaching in college football after long stints in the NFL.

Here are three guys that might take his place:

Devin Bush Sr.

This is the obvious answer. Bush is currently a defensive analyst for the Wolverines. He came on staff in 2016 and for three years before that he coached at Flanagan High School in Florida, which has put out a couple NFLers. He had a seven-year NFL career in which he won a Super Bowl. He played college ball at Florida State where he topped out as Second-Team All-ACC and won a National Championship.


This would probably be a plug-and-play. Bush has coaching experience at a big-time high school, so the assumption is that Harbaugh brought him on with an eventual assistant coaching position in mind. Because he spent the last two seasons with Michigan, he’d hit the ground running – especially when it comes to recruiting.

Charles Woodson

Had to do it.

Michigan’s last Heisman winner has been cooling his heels on ESPN for the last two years after a sure-fire hall of fame and Super Bowl winning career at Oakland and Green Bay that included NFL Defensive Player of The Year in 2009. The nine-time Pro-Bowler is probably remembered by Wolverine fans as a cornerback, but he played a lot of safety in the NFL.

It’s unknown whether he wants to coach or if he can coach, although if you watch him on ESPN he definitely knows what he’s talking about and communicates it well. This hire would cause 30 year-old men to squeal like 10 year-old boys.

Another tab open on my computer right now:

On second thought…

How many yards from State Street to Schembechler Hall?


Anthony Campanile

Campanile has been the defensive backs coach at Boston College for the last two years. This season, BC’s pass-defense ranked 10th in S&P+’s defensive passing metric with very little in the way of elite recruiting.

From ’07-’11 he was an assistant at Don Bosco prep, so he’s probably got recruiting ties in an area that’s produced Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary for Michigan.

Think the defensive backs version of Don Brown.

It’s a little outside the box but so was Brown’s hiring and that has certainly paid off. Plus, he might be a good New Jersey recruiting insurance policy in case Chris Partridge leaves for a bigger job.

The odds are certainly in Bush Sr.’s favor, but Campanile could be an up-and-comer, and, oh yeah – CHARLES WOODSON IS JUST SITTING AT A DESK AND TALKING FOR A LIVING RIGHT NOW AND IT’S NOT RIGHT.

Come party with The Wolverine Lounge during the Outback Bowl. TWL is renting out a location in Downtown Ann Arbor TBA – and everyone’s invited!

Read all the details here.

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Eric Coughlin
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