Michigan Football has appointed Mike Elston as its new defensive coach

It was a surprise to see current Michigan defensive line coach Shaun Noah leave to the same position at USC on the new Lincoln Riley team. But in finding his replacement, Jim Harpo sought to bring his original son home.

Mike Elston made his name as a coach at Notre Dame, where he’s been a member of the staff since 2010. But the former Wolverines linebacker began coaching in Ann Arbor, first as a student trainee, then a video assistant, and then a graduate assistant in the Lloyd Carr era. He trained in Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, working with Brian Kelly last, before following him to Cincinnati and then Notre Dame. However, Elston did not join Kelly in Baton Rouge, and was relinquished to the position of defensive coordinator by new Irish coach Marcus Freeman.

Now, longtime defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, Elston is back to coach the Michigan defense line at age 47 – making him the Wolverines’ oldest lieutenant.

Under the defensive line, Notre Dame finished 12th in sacks with 41 in 2021. While his unit was 70th in sacks in 2017, it was his first year in DL training after a two-year hiatus in training midfielders, he never finished. Worse than 33rd place in the country. In fact, in 2016 when the team only had 28 sacks, he was led by the linebacker, while he was mostly pressured by the streak when he was coaching that unit.

Elston has been the assistant assistant manager at Notre Dame since January 2018, which made him another assistant for the Wolverines to hold that title, as Mike Hart held the same distinction in Indiana. He shared with reporters that he intended to stay at Notre Dame due to the family’s return in December.

But while Kelly was working to bring his staff together at LSU, Elston made it clear that he intended to stay at Notre Dame. Elston, who is also the employment coordinator at Notre Dame, was asked on Wednesday why he decided to stay.

“At the end of the day, my family is the most important thing in my life,” Elston said.

Elston, a father of three daughters, did not like the idea of ​​moving his family from South Bend when his children were at such important stages in their lives. His eldest daughter is a high school student. His middle daughter, an eighth-grader, has moved on to fencing, which probably wouldn’t have happened without the successful Notre Dame programme.

With Elston appointed, a virtual defensive line coach appointed, Ryan Osborne – who has been rumored to be leaving for UConn after the regular season – will remain in his role as an analyst.

Elston called the plays as temporary defensive coordinator for Notre Dame at the bowl game.


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