Michigan made its first personnel move of the offseason Thursday afternoon, hiring away Alabama co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, per a report from The Athletic.
UPDATE: Thursday evening, Michigan Football officially announced the hiring of Josh Gattis as offensive coordinator.
“The offense and passing games under Josh’s direction have achieved at a very high level throughout his coaching career,” said Jim Harbaugh in a University release. “Josh will provide leadership to our offense while being a great mentor to our student-athletes and an outstanding addition to our coaching staff. Michigan football looks forward to having Josh, Tesa, and their children, Jace and Reece, join our University family.”
OFFICIAL: @CoachJim4UM tabs Josh Gattis as Michigan’s new Sanford Robertson Offensive Coordinator.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) January 10, 2019
Gattis, 34, spent one season with the Crimson Tide, having previously coached at Penn State from 2014-17.
He was reportedly heading to join former Alabama co-OC Mike Locksley, his former co-worker, at Maryland. However, Bruce Feldman’s report indicates he is indeed heading to Ann Arbor to join Michigan’s staff.
“It is an honor and a privilege to join the University of Michigan football family under Coach Harbaugh, one of the most successful head coaches in all of football,” said Gattis. “I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve as your Offensive Coordinator. This is the leadership challenge I’ve coveted. The football tradition at the University of Michigan is among the very best in college athletics. My family and I couldn’t be more excited to arrive in Ann Arbor.”
While at Alabama, Gattis was responsible for the best receiving unit in the country, statistically. The Crimson Tide finished with the No. 6 passing offense in the country, while star receiver Jerry Judy finished 10th in receiving yards.
This signals one of two things with current U-M Pass Game Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Pep Hamilton. Either he’s moving on to a new job, or the offensive staff is more crowded than it already was.
Should Jim Harbaugh hand the keys to the offense over to Gattis, you’ll see U-M utilize its receivers in space similar to how Alabama’s offensive style was in 2018. That matches the personnel, as the Wolverines claim three future NFL Draftees at the position, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Nico Collins and Tarik Black.
UPDATE: Feldman reported further, adding that Gattis will indeed call plays at Michigan.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 10, 2019
However, should Harbaugh assign Gattis’ responsibilities similar to his last OC’s (Tim Drevno), than Gattis won’t have full control. Gattis would likely control only the pass game (with or without Hamilton), while Ed Warinner would continue handling run plays.
No matter his responsibilities, hiring Gattis as offensive coordinator is a home run hire for Harbaugh — something he needed, coming off back-to-back days losing an assistant to Ohio State.
U-M still has holes to fill at defensive line and linebackers coach. Along with a decision to make on Pep Hamilton’s future.