Michigan has filled its coaching-staff vacancy by promoting from within.
Head coach Rich Rodriguez on Thursday named Adam Braithwaite as the team's new outside linebackers/safeties coach. Braithwaite, a defensive quality control assistant for the last two years at U-M, fills the vacancy left by Jay Hopson, who left in December to become Memphis' new defensive coordinator.
Hopson had coached Michigan's linebackers, a group that now will be overseen by defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. Braithwaite will assist Robinson with the outside linebackers and handle the strong safeties. Assistant head coach Tony Gibson will coach cornerbacks and free safeties, and serve as special teams coordinator. Gibson previously had coached the entire secondary.
"We are excited to promote Adam to be our safeties/outside linebackers coach," said Rodriguez. "He has been a loyal hard-working member of our staff for several years and knows our system. I believe he will bring a lot of energy both in coaching and recruiting."
The division of responsibilities among the defensive assistants is interesting, but Braithwaite, Robinson and Gibson will have to work well together to improve a group that really struggled in 2009. Braithwaite played at William & Mary and worked as a graduate assistant for Rodriguez at West Virginia before becoming defensive coordinator at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.
Rodriguez interviewed former Marshall head coach Mark Snyder and a few other bigger names for this vacancy. Braithwaite should transition well given his familiarity with the Wolverines personnel.