One of the more respected names in the coaching industry, John Baxter was hired by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to fix the special teams. A unit that, at times, appeared to be in disarray last season the path to getting on the right track will not be easy.
During his time with the media on Thursday, Baxter noted that he could make in impact, perhaps immediately, on his team.
“Obviously if I feel like I couldn’t make an impact then I shouldn’t have this job,” Baxter said. “I do feel like we can make an impact.”
Baxter also showed a side that was refreshing in the “coach speak” realm. He was honest, perhaps brutally, about the struggles that have plagued the special teams for years.
Despite being on the job for only eight months, Baxter has found something to be disappointed in without participating in a single fall practice with the Wolverines.
“It’s upsetting to me the last time we’ve returned a kick or a punt (for a touchdown) was 2007 or 2008,” Baxter said. “Last time we returned a field goal for a score was 2003. That’s way too long. I can just tell you this, we are going to approach this football team and this camp with some tremendous urgency.”
How quickly will those issues be fixed? Baxter doesn’t have a timeframe and, in his words, doesn’t have a crystal ball to fix the issues either.
One thing is certain, however, he does expect good things to happen during the first fall practice of the season on Friday.
“When those things happen, it’s when they happen,” Baxter said. “But I’ll tell you what, my expectations is that it happens tomorrow.”