ANN ARBOR, Mich. — For the primary time in a decade Jim McElwain is not in command of an offense or a full group, and the brand new Michigan assistant coach mentioned he is content material to be studying within the background this spring.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh employed McElwain in February to educate a bunch of Wolverine vast receivers that struggled to provide large numbers throughout the 2017 season. The previous Florida and Colorado State head coach mentioned he is not fairly certain how he landed in Ann Arbor, however sees his new job within the Massive Ten as an opportunity to watch how another person steers the ship.
“I don’t know if he got the wrong number and I answered,” McElwain mentioned Monday night time, talking to native reporters for the primary time since taking the job. “No, I don’t really know how it came about, but we got a phone call and I was obviously very excited to come and, if nothing else, get an opportunity to stand in the background and see how something is operated.”
McElwain acquired a firsthand take a look at his new gamers final September, when Michigan beat his Gators 33-17 within the season opener. McElwain, who was fired from the Florida job lower than two months later, mentioned he knew loads about rising sophomores Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones from his former group’s preparation to cease them final summer time.
Michigan’s younger receiver group hauled in solely three receiving touchdowns — six got here from different place teams — throughout the 2017 season. McElwain mentioned the group has work to do, however he has seen promise in spring apply.
McElwain coached vast receivers for greater than 10 seasons of his 30-plus-year teaching profession previous to changing into an offensive coordinator and head coach. Final November was the primary fall month he spent away from the sideline since he began his profession. The longtime coach mentioned he instantly missed the camaraderie and was keen to leap at any alternative to affix one other workers.
McElwain mentioned he has studied Harbaugh from afar for a few years. Now he is choosing up pointers from his new boss to make use of if he will get one other shot to be a head coach sooner or later.
“There are a lot of things I’ll take with me if ever given the opportunity again, that we’ve learned from him,” McElwain mentioned. “I think probably his approach with the team itself, how he interacts with that, how he handles some of the outside things that go on. He does a great job with that. His preparation with that is really good.”