In its search to replace Jim Harbaugh, Michigan didn’t have to look particularly far.

Within three days of Harbaugh leaving his alma mater for the Los Angeles Chargers, the Wolverines have reportedly promoted offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore to be their new head coach, per Adam Schefter.

Beyond the historical significance of the decision, with Moore becoming the first Black head coach in program history, the hire makes sense.

Sherrone Moore replacing Jim Harbaugh as Michigan head coach

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Moore had an important role in Michigan’s first national championship since 1997, both with and without Harbaugh. He was the offensive coordinator for a squad that averaged 35.9 points per game, placing it in the top 15 nationally. He was the offensive line coach for perhaps the greatest line in the country, which had won the Joe Moore Award twice in the previous three years. He is popular among both players and coaches. In the era of the one-time transfer exemption, and at this late juncture in the college football calendar, retaining a top assistant provides Michigan the best chance to keep as much of its existing team as possible.

Most notably, Moore performed admirably in what could be construed as an audition for the role he had recently obtained. He was the Wolverines’ interim head coach for four games this season while Harbaugh was serving various punishments, including the final three regular-season games. Under Moore, Michigan went 4-0, including victories over top-10 Ohio State and Penn State teams.

Still, there are risks to the decision, many of which revolve around Moore’s lack of experience as a head coach in a non-interim position.

Michigan is the winningest program in college football history, and its head coaching position, despite certain inherent challenges, is one of the most respected in the sport. The Wolverines and AD Warde Manuel could have had, and undoubtedly did have, their pick of candidates, many of whom have demonstrated success as head coaches.

Has a program of Michigan’s magnitude ever promoted someone from inside to assume the most crucial position? And how did things pan out for the Wolverin

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