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English returns to Wolverines

'M' lures assistant coach away from Chicago Bears to be defensive coordinator

By Jack Herman, Daily Sports Editor

http://www.michigandaily.com/m edia/paper851/news/2006/02/10/ News/English.Returns.To.Wolver ines-1608151.shtml?norewrite&s ourcedomain=www.michigandaily. com


Ron English is back.

Just three days after signing a contract to become the Chicago Bears' secondary coach, Michigan assistant coach Ron English has reportedly decided to return to Ann Arbor to assume the duties of defensive coordinator, the Bears announced yesterday.

The Michigan athletic department confirmed English will be back at the University, but it would not specify in what capacity.

English could not be reached for comment.

For the past three years, English served as the Wolverines' defensive backs coach. He garnered acclaim for both his recruiting and coaching abilities.

In 2004, cornerback Marlin Jackson and safety Ernest Shazor both received all-America honors, making English the first coach in NCAA history with two defensive backs earning the award in the same year.

The status of current defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann remains uncertain.

Herrmann - the longest tenured member of the assistant coaching staff - has been criticized in the past, specifically for his unit's performance in late-game situations.

Michigan finished the year 7-5, its worst record since 1984 (6-6). In four of those loses, the Wolverines surrendered the game-winning score in the final five minutes of the game. Three of those plays occurred within the final minute of the game.

Rumors have swirled that an NFL coaching job looms in Herrmann's future. USA Today reported that the Dallas Cowboys have expressed interest in hiring him as their linebackers' coach, attempting to fill a hole opened when Gary Gibbs left the team for the New Orleans Saints.

English's return may quell the fears of some high school coaches, who expressed concern about the timing of his departure. English announced his plans less than a week after last Wednesday's signing day, when recruits formalized their scholarship decisions.

On Tuesday, Angelo Gasca, high school coach of the incoming safety Jonas Mouton, told The Ann Arbor News: "It's pretty disappointing for Jonas. One of the links these young men have to the University is the coaches that they have relationships with."

Mouton, a highly-touted prospect, told Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr just two days prior to the event that he wanted to attend Michigan.

English's move marks a major turning point in what has been an eventful off-season for the Wolverines.

Last week, offensive coordinator Terry Malone accepted a job as tight end coach with the New Orleans Saints. Carr looked in-house for a successor, tapping special teams coach Mike DeBord for the spot. DeBord led Michigan's offense for three seasons (1997-99) before leaving to take the head coaching position at Central Michigan. In his first year as offensive coordinator, Michigan won the national championship. DeBord rejoined the Wolverines in 2004.

According to some sources, the coaching staff shuffle may not yet be finished. There has been speculation that quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler had received interest from NFL teams.

On Tuesday, Loeffler told The Detroit News he had no intentions of leaving Ann Arbor.

"I am not leaving the University of Michigan," Loeffler said. "I am happy and perfectly content here."

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