Rays of Light: Coaches U-M Should Aim For

In the last part of our series in which former Michigan All-American and current Big Ten Network studio analyst Marcus plays the role of Michigan’s athletic director, Ray shares the list of coaches he’d pursue if/when he opted for change atop the Wolverines’ football program.

The list below was Marcus Ray’s coaching targets prior to Michigan’s loss to Maryland Saturday.

Marcus Ray: “Number one, I’m going after Nick Saban.  I’m going after Nick Saban down at Alabama. I think Nick Saban has got about six to eight years left.  I think Nick Saban would look at the Michigan job the way that the Ole Ball Coach (Steve Spurrier) looked at South Carolina.  He was long at the tooth, but he didn’t want to get out of the game.  It was a challenge and he made South Carolina competitive.  But knowing Nick Saban, former head coach I believe at Toledo, he might be an Ohio guy too.  (Sam Webb:  He’s a West Virginia guy)… this Michigan coaching thing has become like a Mount Rushmore, so that’s why Brady Hoke said he would crawl from California to get this job.  I bet you will.  That’s why Butch Jones looked me in the face and said, ‘I’d coach there in a heartbeat. ‘ I bet you will.  Because it is such a valued chair to be in there.  I would go after Nick Saban first.  His time is done in the SEC.  Those teams are catching up to him.  SEC is so competitive.  Why do you think Urban Meyer left Florida?  Because he saw he was going to have to cheat.  The SEC West was getting ready to turn up and he got out of there.  ‘Oh I got a heart attack.’ Whatever.  So he got out of there and went to a conference where he could win.  Nick Saban, after this season, has run his course in the Southeastern Conference.  He can go to a place like Michigan and turn it around.  It is not hard to win in the Big Ten.  Minnesota shows you that. Nebraska, Wisconsin, they’re all showing you that.  So he could come here, get his face on Mount Michigan Rushmore.  He’ll go down as the guy who turned the program around and if he can get Michigan to where Alabama is in this day and age, he’ll go down as the greatest coach to ever be here.  He would take that challenge.”

“I’m going to go after Jim Harbaugh secondly.  Then third, I’m not sure.  I need to see what the first two are talking about because if I don’t get those two guys and maybe a Les Miles, maybe.  Les is getting exposed. I know he has a young team, but Les can recruit.  Les would be #3.  Saban, Harbaugh, Les… Butch Jones fourth and fifth, I’m not really sure.  I keep Brady Hoke.  I would go 1-4 and I say Butch Jones because Butch can coach baby and he can recruit and I worked for Butch so I’m speaking for first hand.  Say what you want about what is going on at Tennessee, but if he got this job, he would turn up around here.  Those would be my four choices.”

To listen to the last part of our Ray as A.D. series, press play below.

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