Wake up University of Michigan fans and welcome to Breakfast of Victors, Land of 10’s daily morning briefing of Wolverines athletics. We’ll get your weekdays started with all the latest Michigan news, notes and insights. Our goal is to bring you closer to the Maize-and-Blue, your favorite school.
Today is Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors …
Jim Harbaugh’s staff continues to morph and adapt heading into Harbaugh’s third season at Michigan.
Harbaugh named Chris Partridge, 36, as Michigan’s special teams coordinator on Wednesday, adding to Partridge’s linebacker coach duties. Partridge came to Ann Arbor two years ago to be Harbaugh’s director of player personnel after five seasons building a nationally-ranked program at Paramus (N.J.) Catholic High School.
Jay Harbaugh and secondary coach Michael Zordich will assist Partridge with the special teams. Jay Harbaugh, son of the head coach, was recently named Tyrone Wheatley’s replacement as running backs coach after coaching tight ends the past two seasons.
The special teams coaching structure won’t change dramatically, other than the titles, from last season. Partridge was added to the coaching staff for the Citrus Bowl game against Florida on Jan. 1, 2016, taking over the job of linebackers coach when D.J. Durkin left to become head coach at Maryland. He was part of the special teams coaching group last season.
.@CoachCPartridge named Michigan's special teams coordinator.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) February 8, 2017
Michigan’s special teams were ranked No. 1 in the country last season by the analytics web site FootballOutsiders.com. The Wolverines had to best net starting field position of any team in the country last season, averaging nearly 10 yards better per possession than their opponents.
Partridge has been at the heart of Michigan’s recruiting efforts the last two years. He was named the nation’s top recruiter by 247Sports last year and earned the same distinction from Scout.com this year.
“Chris is a hard-working, valuable member of our coaching staff,” said Jim Harbaugh in a news release. “He works extremely well across all levels of our football program, athletic department and university. Chris handles his on- and off-field responsibilities at an exemplary level. I look forward to his continued work with our student-athletes and their families.”
Five of the 10 members of Harbaugh’s original staff have left for other coaching jobs. Besides Durkin, who had also been the defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator John Baxter (Southern California) and secondary coach Greg Jackson (Dallas Cowboys) left after one season. Quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch left to become UCLA’s offensive coordinator after the Orange Bowl loss to Florida State. Tyrone Wheatley had been the running backs coach for Harbaugh’s first two season but accepted the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars last month.
Pep Hamilton was hired as assistant head coach and Fisch’s replacement, while Greg Frey is now the run game coordinator and coaching offensive tackles and tight ends.
Taking care of business
The No. 21 women’s basketball team lived up to it first national poll appearance in four years by beating Purdue, 72-62, Wednesday night in West Lafayette, Ind. The win improved the Wolverines to 20-5 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten.
This is the earliest in a season any Michigan team has reached 20 wins.
Kysre Gondrezick scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including making 4 of 7 shots from 3-point range. The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week also grabbed six rebounds. Purdue led 12-9 in the first quarter, but a layup by Gondrezick with 4:07 left put Michigan ahead, 13-12. The Wolverines never trailed again, ultimately leading by as many as 15 points.
Sophomore Hallie Thome scored 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. Junior Katelynn Flaherty had 13 points and five assists, while junior Jillian Dunston equaled her career-high with 15 rebounds.
Michigan had 17 assists on 28 baskets and outrebounded Purdue, 38-24.
- Fab Five member Ray Jackson will be the keynote speaker Thursday at the third annual William Monroe Trotter Lecture at Michigan’s Ross Business School. The theme of the lecture, sponsored by the Black Business Students Association, is “The Black Male Athlete. Who he is and what he is to you.” Former Michigan and NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards and current Michigan wide receiver Maurice Ways will also speak at the symposium, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
- Senior Steve Bastien earned Big Ten field athlete of the week honors after winning the heptathlon at the Akron Invitational last weekend. He totaled 5,843 points to set a school record.
- Michigan has been busy offering cornerbacks for the 2018 recruiting class. Land of 10’s Brandon Justice takes a look at them here.