ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Tim Drevno will reportedly become one of college football’s million-dollar assistant coaches.
He will be paid generously — Fox Sports and ESPN reported Tuesday that Drevno will receive a five-year contract extension worth $1.3 million annually. But entering his third season at Michigan, he and his offensive staff has its work cut out for them despite the Wolverines leading the Big Ten in scoring offense with 40.3 points a game in a 10-3 season.
Michigan was second in the Big Ten in rushing offense (212.9 ypg), though it had only six games in which it had more than 200 yards rushing. And returning quarterback Wilton Speight averaged 211.5 yards in 12 games, placing Michigan seventh in the Big Ten in passing offense. The Wolverines lose some of its top producers in 2017, and Drevno and Michigan face new challenges on offense. They include:
- Meld a young offensive line around center Mason Cole and guard Ben Bredeson. Michigan loses fifth-year seniors Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson and Ben Braden.
- Groom a No. 1 running back. Michigan had four backs who primarily carried the ball, but none who had more than 846 yards. Michigan also hasn’t had a back run for more than 1,000 yards since 2011.
- Find receivers who can replace Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson and Jake Butt. The trio combined for more than 1,900 yards this season.
Drevno’s millions aren’t simply a reward for doing a good job, or for rebuilding the offense. It is also a chance to maintain some sort of stability on Harbaugh’s staff.
The extension for Drevno may also be a strategic move by Michigan, given the departure of Jedd Fisch to UCLA as the Bruins’ offensive coordinator, Minnesota’s firing of Tracy Claeys and Drevno’s mention as a candidate at Florida Atlantic before the hiring of Lane Kiffin. (Backstory: Urban Meyer reportedly worked backchannels to have FAU hire Drevno, as a means to hamper Michigan.) This makes Drevno a commodity, and if Michigan wants to add or keep its staff, it will pay to do so.
If the reported money is correct, Drevno’s contract extension will make him one of a handful million-dollar assistants in college football. According to a USA TODAY Sports database, only 12 FBS assistants/coordinators made at least $1 million annually, and Drevno was the Big Ten’s highest-paid offensive coordinator. Drevno, who has coached at the college and NFL levels, made $800,000 a year in his first two seasons at Michigan.
He will also be one of two assistants at Michigan who will make at least $1 million annually, joining defensive coordinator Don Brown, who will reportedly receive a 5-year contract extension worth nearly $1.4 million a year.