Fired U-M Coach Partridge breaks silence, says he was not involved in Stalions' case

Former University of Michigan linebackers coach Chris Patridge broke his silence 10 days after his firing.

On Monday Partridge released a statement denying any involvement with the Connor Stalions sign-stealing investigation. He added that his silence for the past week-plus was because he did not want to be a distraction for the football team in the ramp-up to the Ohio State game.

Patridge said he had "no knowledge whatsoever of sign-stealing with in-person scouting, illegal scouting or illegal sign-stealing" in a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter.

"Additionally, at no point did I destroy any evidence related to an ongoing investigation," he said. "The manner in which the termination of my employment and my role as a Coach at Michigan has been reported is inaccurate and has resulted in people speculating and making assumptions about my knowledge of, and connection to, the sign-stealing allegations within the football program."

Partridge says that the reason he was given for his termination was for being accused of discussing the NCAA investigation with others connected to the football program.

The ex-coach said that the reasons were explained to him the morning of November 17 by Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel and described in a termination letter that day signed by Doug Gnodtke, the Michigan Athletics Chief of Staff.

"I was terminated because of a failure to abide by the University directive not to discuss an ongoing NCAA investigation with anyone associated with the Michigan Football Program," Patridge said.

Partridge first worked with the university in 2015 when he was hired as director of player personnel. He was then promoted to linebackers coach in 2016 and special teams coordinator in 2017. He briefly left to coach at Ole Miss before returning to UM for the 2023 season.

Partridge is not the first staff member of the football team to step away. Earlier in the NCAA's probe, Stalions, the figure who has emerged at the center of the investigation, resigned earlier in November.

Fueling the speculation into Partridge was the fact the school released no details or circumstances involving the firing.

In a short statement from Manuel, the school said it had fired Chris Partridge, the team's linebackers coach. Rick Minter, a football analyst for the team, will serve in his stead. There was no reason given for Partridge's removal.