2014 Recruiting Classes for Former Michigan Players, Coaches

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The 2014 recruiting classes are in for former Michigan football players, coaches, and former Brady Hoke assistant coaches who are now coaching various college programs.

Ranking are based on 247Sports.com, ESPN.com ($$), Rivals.com, and Scout.com.

For Fergodsakes.com’s University of Michigan football coaching trees, click here.

Former Michigan Players and Coaches

Steve Stripling (Defensive Line Coach 2005-07): Now Defensive Line Coach at the University of Tennessee. The Volunteers are thought to have a top 5 class in the country, which is anywhere from 2nd to 4th in the SEC. Here is Tennessee’s 2014 recruiting class.

Les Miles, offensive lineman 1972-75 and Offensive Line Coach 1987-94; and
Cam Cameron, WR Coach 1986-89; WR & QB Coach 1990-1993
Miles, a senior on Team 96, is now Head Coach at LSU, where Cameron is his Offensive Coordinator. The Tigers are generally thought to have a Top 7 class, which is anywhere from 2nd to 4th in the SEC. Here is the 2014 LSU recruiting class.

Mike Elston (linebacker 1993-96): A senior on Team 117, Elston is now the Defensive Line Coach for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have put together a class that is generally a Top 10 class in the nation. Here is Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting class.

Jerry Montgomery (Defensive Line Coach 2011-12): Montgomery is now the Defensive Line Coach with Oklahoma. The Sooners are thought to have about the 15th best class in the nation, good for a Top 2 class in the Big 12. Here is the 2014 Oklahoma recruiting class.

Vance Bedford (DB Coach 1995-98; Secondary Coach 2007): Now Defensive Coordinator, University of Texas. 2014 will be Head Coach Charlie Strong’s first season as Head Coach with the Longhorns. Texas is thought to have about the 15th best class in the nation, and a Top 3 class in the Big 12. Here is the 2014 Longhorns recruiting class.

Curt Mallory (linebacker 1988-91); and
Roy Manning (linebacker 2000-04)
Mallory and Manning are both coaching with their alma mater. Mallory is the Secondary Coach; Manning is the Inside Linebackers Coach. The Wolverines are thought to have about the 20th best class in the nation, which is anywhere from 2nd to 4th in the Big Ten. Here is Michigan’s 2014 recruiting class.

Tony Dews (WR Coach 2008-10);
Calvin McGee (Offensive Coordinator 2008-10); and
Rod Smith (QB Coach 2008-10):
All with the Arizona Wildcats and Rich Rodriguez – Dews as WR Coach; McGee as Offensive Coordinator; and Smith as QB Coach. The Wildcats are generally thought to have a class ranking around 25th in the nation, which is 4th to 6th in the Pac 12. Here is Arizona’s 2014 class.

Scot Loeffler (quarterback 1993-96 and QB Coach 2002-07): Now Offensive Coordinator with Virginia Tech. The Hokies are generally thought to have the 25th-30th best class in the country, which is 4th to 6th best in the ACC. Here is the Hokies 2014 recruiting class.

Greg Frey (OL Coach 2008-10):Frey is the now the Offensive Line Coach for Indiana. The Hoosiers have brought in what is thought to have a class which ranks generally anywhere from 35th to 45th in the country, which is in the bottom half of the Big Ten. Here is Indiana’s 2014 signing day class.

Mike Hankwitz (tight end 1967-69): A senior on the 1969 team, Hankwitz is now the Defensive Coordinator for Northwestern. The Wildcats rankings are anywhere from 35th or so in the nation to around 60th in the land. They are thought to be in the bottom half of the Big Ten. Click here for the 2014 Northwestern recruiting class.

Tony Gibson (Secondary Coach 2008-10): Now Safeties Coach with West Virginia. The Mountaineers have brought in what is though to be around the 40th to 45th best class in the nation, which is around 6th in the Big 12. Here is West Virginia’s 2014 class.

Scott Shafer (Defensive Coordinator 2008): Now Head Coach, Syracuse. The Orange are generally thought to have a class that ranks around 50th in the country, which is near the bottom in the ACC. Here is the 2014 Syracuse signing day information.

Mike Hart(running back, 2004-07): Now Running Backs Coach with Western Michigan. The Broncos have brought in a class which is on average around 60th in the nation, #1 in the Mid American Conference. Here is WMU’s 2014 recruiting class.

Chuck Heater (running back 1971-74): Now Defensive Coordinator with Marshall University. The Thundering Herd have what is thought to be around the 60th best class in the nation, and the #1 class in Conference USA. Here is Marshall’s class.

Jay Hopson (Linebackers Coach 2008-09): Now Head Coach of Alcorn State. Here is the 2014 recruiting class for the Braves of the FCS.

Bruce Tall (Defensive Line Coach 2008-10): Now UNC Charlotte Defensive Coordinator. Here is the 2014 recruiting class for the 49ers of the FCS.

Adam Braithwaite (Safeties Coach, 2010): Just completed his second season with UT Chattanooga, and his first as Defensive Coordinator. Here is the 2014 recruiting info for the Mocs of the FBS.

Marcus Knight(wide receiver 1996-99): A senior on Team 120, Knight is now Northern Michigan University Wide Receivers Coach. Here is the 2014 recruiting class for the Division II Wildcats.

Jim Lyall (defensive lineman 1970-73); and
Robert Thornbladh (fullback 2006):
Lyall is now Head Coach of the Siena Heights Saints; Thornbladh is his Outside Linebackers Coach. Here is the signing day class for the Saints.

Matt Dyson (linebacker 1990-94): Now Head Coach for George Mason University, a club team.

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Jim Harbaugh and George Allen

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This is a re-post from a little over a year ago – January 21, 2013. It’s one of my favorite Super Bowl trivia type items, tied in with the University of Michigan.

As you know, Jim Harbaugh is the first former Michigan football player to be Head Coach of a Super Bowl team. Furthermore, there is no former Michigan coach who has been Head Coach of a Super Bowl team. But there is an interesting twist which could lead you to win a bar bet or two.

George Allen was Head Coach of the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, the team which lost to the Miami Dolphins 14-7, capping the Dolphins’ perfect season. Bob Griese, father of Brian, was of course the quarterback for that Dolphins team. (Former Wolverine Tight End Jim Mandich, starter on the 1969 UM team, was Griese’s tight end for Miami).

A member of Pro Football’s Hall of Fame, George Allen actually spent some time coaching football at Michigan. While earning his Masters Degree from UM, Allen was assistant coach to Cliff Keen for the University of Michigan Lightweights Football team, a squad comprised of players 150 pounds and lighter. According to this article published in 1997 in Michigan Today, there was a lightweights league including UM, OSU, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Michigan had a lightweights team only in 1947 and 1948 before the league disbanded.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame website has a section “colleges” in which the Hall of Famers are listed by college attended. Allen is listed under four different schools – Alma College, Eastern Michigan, Marquette, and the University of Michigan. This press release in 1981 from the office of President Ronald Reagan appointing Allen as Chairman of The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports states that Allen graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in 1947 and an M.A. in 1948. Allen did not play football at Michigan.

So it is correct to say that Jim Harbaugh is the first former Michigan player or coach to be Head Coach of a Super Bowl team. Harbaugh is not, however, the first Michigan degree holder to be Head Coach of a Super Bowl team – that distinction goes to George Allen. As for the rest of the story, Allen was a coach for a University of Michigan football team… it just wasn’t the team that we’ve followed all these years.

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