Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t leave unturned stones when he’s trying to recruit football players to Ann Arbor. You can judge for yourself whether this news is part of such a strategy or completely unrelated to recruiting:
Head football coach Michael Johnson has resigned and is taking a position on staff at the University of Michigan. Good luck coach!! #GoBlue— TKA Athletics (@TKA_Athletics) February 13, 2017
Michael Johnson was the head coach at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif. He was previously the San Diego Chargers’ quarterbacks coach in 2000, when Harbaugh was a Chargers QB. He’s coached at a handful of major college stops and NFL franchises, so it’s not like Harbaugh’s hiring him out of nowhere.
He’s also the father of Michael Johnson, who’s currently the top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2019 and already claims at least six Power 5 scholarship offers. Michigan isn’t among them, according to 247Sports, but these things are hard to track this far ahead of time.
Harbaugh’s made similar moves before. He hired Paramus Catholic (N.J.) head coach Chris Partridge to his staff in January 2015, and Partridge became a key player in the Wolverines’ landing of five-star PC defensive tackle Rashan Gary in 2016 and four-star linebacker Drew Singleton in 2017.
After signing four-star safety Devin Bush Jr. in 2016, Harbaugh announced he was adding his father, Devin Bush Sr., as an analyst. Bush Sr. was also a high school coach.
The hiring of family members of players or recruits is well within the NCAA’s rules for football, at least for now. The elder Michael Johnson is probably qualified for whichever position Harbaugh is hiring him to fill. And if Michigan wants his son to sign in a couple of years, having the player’s father on staff probably wouldn’t hurt.