Michigan promotes coordinator Sherrone Moore to replace Jim Harbaugh as head coach

Two days after University of Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh accepted an offer to return to the NFL to coach the Los Angeles Chargers, the football program now has his replacement.

The Wolverines didn't have to look far, hiring Sherrone Moore on Friday giving the 37-year-old offensive coordinator an opportunity to lead college football's winningest program.

"I want to thank Coach Harbaugh for the faith that he has displayed in me over the past six years and for supporting my growth as a football coach during that time," Moore said in a statement.

Moore was 4-0, including wins over Ohio State and Penn State, while filling in for Harbaugh as he served two separate  suspensions for potential NCAA rules violations during the 2023 season. He becomes the first Black head coach in the history of Michigan football.

"You've already got a glimpse of the shining star that he is," Harbaugh said before  beating Washington for the national championship last month. "He's just phenomenal, so smart, works so hard at it."

Michigan's offensive line has been among the best in the country under Moore, helping the traditional power restore its glory with a national title and three straight Big Ten championships.

Retaining Moore may help the Wolverines maintain some continuity in the post-Harbaugh area with many of his assistants staying on the staff, and potentially keeping most of the team's key returning players from transferring.

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 18: Acting head coach Sherrone Moore of the Michigan Wolverines watches the teams warm up before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium on November 18, 2023 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiu

Michigan will be breaking in a new quarterback next season because J.J. McCarthy entered the NFL draft, but running back Donovan Edwards and tight end Colston Loveland plan to return along with cornerback Will Johnson and defensive tackles Kenneth Grant and Mason Graham.

Moore joined Harbaugh's staff in 2018 as tight ends coach on the recommendation of Dan Enos, who spent about six weeks after the 2017 season as a member of Harbaugh's staff before leaving to be an Alabama assistant.

Moore was promoted to offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator in 2021, the season in which the Wolverines bounced back from a 2-4, pandemic-shortened season.

"I have been preparing my entire coaching career for this opportunity and I can't think of a better place to be head coach than at the University of Michigan," Moore said in the statement. "We will do everything each day as a TEAM to continue the legacy of championship football that has been played at Michigan for the past 144 years. Our standards will not change."

Moore, a Kansas native, has been regarded as  a rising star in recent years.

The former Oklahoma offensive lineman started his coaching career in 2009 as a graduate assistant at Louisville, where he was later promoted to coach tight ends. He left Louisville to lead Central Michigan's tight ends in 2014 and Harbaugh hired him in 2018 to coach players at the same position.

"Sherrone stepped up this fall and served as the interim head coach when the program and especially the team needed him," athletic director Warde Manuel said. "Sherrone handled that situation in a way that sealed my already growing confidence in him. He didn't make it about him, it was always about the team!"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Michigan acting head coach and offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore celebrates on the slide line during the Michigan Wolverines versus Penn State Nittany Lions game on November 11, 2023 at Beaver Stadium in Universi