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Michigan Hires Alabama Assistant As OC, Poaching Him From Maryland: Report

He's only 34, but he's had success at every stop.

January 10, 2019 - 4:31 pm

On Thursday morning it was reported that Alabama assistant coach Josh Gattis was leaving Tuscaloosa to become offensive coordinator at Maryland. He was set to join forces with Maryland's new head coach Mike Locksley, with whom he shared the role of offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2018. 

Then, apparently, Jim Harbaugh swooped in. 

By Thursday afternoon, Gattis was set to become offensive coordinator at Michigan, according to The Athletic

It's the first time in Harbaugh's four-year tenure that the Wolverines will have an official OC. The offense in the past has run through a variety of coaches, with Harbaugh having the final say on play calling. According to The Athletic, Gattis will take over play-calling.

It bears mention that Locksley, not Gattis, held that role at Alabama.

Gattis, 34, also served as wide receivers coach for the Crimson Tide, the same position he held at Penn State (2014-17), Vanderbilt (2012-13) and Western Michigan (2011). He's had success in this capacity at every stop. 

Alabama ranked sixth in the nation in total offense and passing offense in 2018. 

In a statement released by Michigan Thursday afternoon, Harbaugh said, "The offense and passing games under Josh’s direction have achieved at a very high level throughout his coaching career. Josh will provide leadership to our offense while being a great mentor to our student-athletes and an outstanding addition to our coaching staff."

Gattis will inherit a number of offensive weapons at Michigan, including quarterback Shea Patterson and wide receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black and Nico Collins. The Wolverines also bring in four-star running back Zach Charbonnet and return most of their offensive line. 

Michigan finished 50th in total offense and 21st in scoring offense this season. They haven't finished better than No. 50 in total offense in any of Harbaugh's four seasons. 

It appears he's banking on Gattis to change that. 

"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,” Gattis said in Michigan's release. “I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve as your Offensive Coordinator. This is the leadership challenge I’ve coveted." 

Harbaugh's staff has undergone some significant changes this offseason after he said following Michigan's loss to Florida in the Peach Bowl that he expected very few. In addition to the hire of Gattis, defensive line coach Greg Mattison and defensive assistant Al Washington both departed for Ohio State earlier this week. 

The offensive staff from 2018 remains intact, including passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton and offensive line coach Ed Warriner, who were Harbaugh's play-calling lieutenants this season.