ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Tim Drevno era likely has approached the end at Michigan.
Multiple reports stated Friday that Drevno, the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, has resigned after three seasons at Michigan. A Michigan athletic department spokesman told Land of 10 in an email Friday that the program had nothing to report regarding any changes within the coaching staff. Still, the signs of a divorce between Drevno and Michigan are there.
Drevno’s reported departure comes three days after the program announced the addition of Jim McElwain as the Wolverines’ wide receivers coach. It will leave Michigan with a spot to fill on its coaching staff yet again, but perhaps that means Michigan will have a chance to use the new coaches as a means to improve an offense that struggled in an 8-5 season in 2017.
Under Drevno, Michigan’s offense finished 105th in the nation and ninth in the Big Ten and averaged 348.9 yards in 13 games.
Michigan’s struggles became most pronounced on its offensive line. Despite multiple personnel changes, the Wolverines offensive line never was truly a cohesive unit, and pass protection was a problem, to say the least.
Michigan also allowed 34 sacks in 2017, 13th in the 14-team Big Ten and 114th nationally. Michigan lost two starting quarterbacks to injuries: Wilton Speight sustained fractured vertebrae Sept. 30 in a win at Purdue, and Brandon Peters sustained a concussion Nov. 18 at Wisconsin, which sidelined him for the regular-season finale a week later against Ohio State.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said in October that while he, Drevno and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton collaborated on play calling, Harbaugh had the final say. On Feb. 7, however, Harbaugh said the program was going through a “self-scout” period.
“‘[We’re] looking at ways to get our offense up to where our defense is,” Harbaugh said. “All those assignments are yet to be determined.”
A Drevno departure means Michigan’s immediate need on its coaching staff would be at offensive coordinator and at offensive line coach. The three strongest options to fill those jobs already might be on Michigan’s staff: Pep Hamilton, McElwain and Ed Warinner, who joined the program as a senior analyst/offense in January.
Pep Hamilton enters his second year as Michigan’s passing game coordinator, but primarily worked with quarterbacks and wide receivers.
In addition to his head coaching tenures at Colorado State and Florida, McElwain served as Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 2008-11 and as Fresno State’s offensive coordinator in 2007.
McElwain told ESPN.com last week that he will help Michigan coordinate its offense and prepare its weekly game plan.
Warinner has coached college football since 1984. He’s the most likely candidate to take over Drevno’s responsibilities coaching the position group, and it least one published report Friday said he will take over the offensive line. Warinner coached Minnesota’s offensive line in 2017. He also coached the offensive line and was co-offensive coordinator at Ohio State from 2012 to 2016.
“He’s a very, very good football coach,” former Kansas coach Mark Mangino told Land of 10 last month. “He’s meticulous. He’s so detail-oriented that when you bring up a subject with him, he’s already researched it. He does a fabulous job with the kids, and Ed’s great on game day as a play caller and a game planner.
“If I was Jim Harbaugh, I’d utilize the talents of Ed Warinner because he brings so much to the table. He can have a great, positive impact.”