Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh has been known to toe the line on the recruiting trail, and if you don’t believe it, simply google “satellite camps.” His latest hire is just one more in a long line of controversial moves.
According to Bill Bender of SportingNews, Harbaugh and the Wolverines have hired Michael Johnson, who has resigned from his position as head coach of The King’s Academy in California to join the coaching staff in Ann Arbor.
The school also tweeted the news:
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
On the surface, Johnson seems like a normal hire. He’s a long-time NFL coach — he spent 10 years in the league, including a stint as offensive coordinator for San Fransisco in 2010 — and he obviously has great coaching credentials and the 49ers tie to Harbaugh.
On his own merits, he’s a nice hire for Michigan, though we don’t know what his job title will be just yet.
The situation gets a bit murkier, though, when considering the fact that Johnson’s son, Michael Johnson Jr., is a four-star recruit and the top dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class, per 247Sports.
Did Harbaugh hire Johnson because he believes he’ll be an invaluable coach for Michigan, or did he hire him in an effort to get his son to eventually come along as a commitment? The truth is, it’s probably a little bit of both, and it’s well worth noting that this isn’t an unheard of practice in the world of college sports.
It’s also not illegal by any stretch of the imagination.
With that said, some would call it a bit fishy, especially when considering the grand context of Harbaugh and his issues with the NCAA in regards to some of his recruiting tactics.