Michigan football OC talks getting former Ohio State coach Tony Alford

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Despite much of the handwringing in Columbus, Michigan football had something of a coup, a shot across Ohio State‘s bow earlier this week when new Wolverines head coach Sherrone Moore poached OSU running backs coach Tony Alford.

With Alford’s hire, replacing Mike Hart at the position, the on-field coaching staff for the maize and blue is now complete. Former quarterbacks coach Kirk Campbell, who has been elevated to offensive coordinator in the offseason, notes that the staff might seem unfamiliar on defense given that the entire defensive side turned over, from a coaching perspective. But with the offense, there’s still a lot of familiarity.

“Offensively, not that many new faces,” Campbell said. “I’ve known Steve in passing. Steve, and I kind of assumed the same (role as analyst) — Casula, I’m talking about — that’s really the new one. And then we have Coach Alford coming soon. But Steve and I have known each other for the past two seasons, so that relationship was already formed, excited to work with him. Great, great person to have in the room.

“And then just get to know Coach Alford more will be the one to face. And then just the defensive guys walking around. Couldn’t be more excited for the people that have Coach Moore has hired. I mean, they’re just, they seem like great people, down to earth. And they’re all about their businesses are about as well.”

Of course, the excitement surrounds Alford, given his experience and the school he left to come to Ann Arbor.

Fans were already familiar with Campbell, Grant Newsome, Ron Bellamy, and even Steve Casula (the new tight ends coach) to some degree, given he was an analyst for the Wolverines a few years back. But Alford has special intrigue considering the circumstances of his hire.

While Campbell hasn’t gotten into meeting rooms or held any practices with the former Buckeyes coach, he is sure of one thing.

“We got the best man for the job,” Campbell said. “I mean, that’s for you guys to talk about. We’re excited to have him as part of the staff.”

But what does Campbell know about him? While they haven’t yet had a face-to-face, it seems, the offensive coordinator has done his due diligence when it comes to learning about his new running backs coach. And everyone he’s spoken to about Alford have had nothing but great things to say about him on all fronts.

“I’ve had a few people that have crossed paths with him and that he’s a man of great character, a great coach, great person to have in the room,” Campbell said. “And then obviously a great recruiter so excited for that. He’s obviously had great success in recruiting and on the field of production with those running backs. So just super excited for the feedback I got from people that have been close to him. And then just seeing what he’s done from afar.”

Spring practice for the Wolverines begins officially on Monday, March 18 with eyes on the annual spring game which will take place at The Big House on April 20.

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