Michigan Football Experiences Coaching Shake-Up: Partridge’s Departure, Macdonald’s New Role

Michigan football faced a double whammy this offseason, with the reigning national champions losing their head coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Jesse Minter to the Chargers.

While what has resulted has been a purge of Michigan coaching staffers, one of the more eyebrow-raising moves for Michigan fans came further up the coast: The hiring of fired assistant Chris Partridge by the Seahawks and 2021 Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.

Partridge, who started 2023 on Michigan’s staff, was fired in November for impermissibly discussing the Michigan sign-stealing scandal with players, which broke a directive set forth by the school. He was fired two weeks after disgraced staffer Connor Stalions tendered his resignation.

Partridge got both his coaching start and his first head coaching job at Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey and held two assistant coaching stints with Michigan, with a co-defensive coordinator job at Ole Miss sandwiched in from 2020 to 2022. He was fired in his first season back on Michigan’s staff.

He and Macdonald were ships in the night in some ways, with Macdonald serving as Michigan’s defensive coordinator in 2021 when Partridge had already departed for Oxford. Partridge returned in 2023 after Macdonald had taken the Ravens defensive coordinator job. This will be their first time sharing a sideline.

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Why was Chris Partridge fired from Michigan?

Though it was reported Partridge was allegedly destroying computer evidence at the time he was fired, it was the breaking of a self-imposed rule that led to his dismissal from the team.

Partridge broke a university directive by discussing the scandal with Michigan personnel, which led to the university firing him on Nov. 17.

“I want to be clear: I had no knowledge whatsoever of any in-person or illegal scouting, or illegal sign stealing,” Partridge wrote in a statement after the firing. “Additionally, at no point did I destroy any evidence related to an ongoing investigation. As explained to me by Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel in person on the morning of November 17, 2023, and as set forth in my termination letter of the same date, signed by Doug Gnodtke, Michigan Athletics Chief of Staff, I was terminated because of a failure ‘to abide by the University directive not to discuss an ongoing NCAA investigation with anyone associated with the Michigan Football Program.'”

After firing Partridge, Michigan reiterated is was “seeking due process and allowing the NCAA to conduct a fair and deliberate investigation.”

Partridge now joins a Seahawks team ushering in a new era after Pete Carroll was moved to an advisory role in the franchise. Macdonald helmed one of the NFL’s top defenses in Baltimore last season and was seen as a top pick for future head coaching roles as early as September 2023.

2024-02-23 01:35:26
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