Michigan soccer coach Jim Harbaugh said Thursday he didn’t feel a disconnect between his staff or with the players last season, but cited his desire to make “improvements to everything” to hire seven new assistants, including the coordinator defensive Mike Macdonald.
“I didn’t find any kind of disconnect, but I wanted to be strong in all areas, improving everything,” Harbaugh said Thursday after Michigan’s first two spring training. “I would describe it that way. I didn’t feel like there was a disconnect, no.”
Harbaugh completed the personnel review Monday by hiring quarterback coach Matt Weiss, who worked for him at Stanford before spending the last 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens with Harbaugh’s brother John.
Jim Harbaugh said he will work alongside Weiss and coach Michigan quarterbacks directly in 2021.
Macdonald also came from the Ravens, where he coached linebackers and defensive backs for the past four seasons.
The Wolverines were 2-4 last season, their first losing record with Harbaugh, who hasn’t had a losing season as head coach (NFL or college) since 2008 at Stanford (5-7).
Michigan replaced defensive coordinator Don Brown with 33-year-old Macdonald and brought in several other young coaches: defensive co-coordinator Maurice Linguist (36), linebackers coach George Helow (34), safety coach Ron Bellamy (39) , Weiss (37) and running coach Mike Hart (34), the program’s race leader.
“I’m just looking for great coaches, really,” Harbaugh said. “That was what I was looking for the most … I feel like they are already accomplished coaches for their age and definitely coaches who are going to do great things in this profession.”
Harbaugh sought many opinions to reshape his staff, but said he values his brother’s opinion more than any other coach. Macdonald had worked on the Ravens staff since 2014.
Although Harbaugh declined to specify what will change on defense going from Brown to Macdonald, he has been pleased with the communication and energy of the new attendees.
“I have the right guys on board, working hard, training hard,” Harbaugh said. “I feel great about where the staff is.”