Michigan poaches highly-regarded DL coach Mike Elston from Notre Dame

Mike Elston, Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Elston, Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Michigan hiring Mike Elston away from Notre Dame has to mean Jim Harbaugh is staying put.

By prying well-respected defensive line coach Mike Elston away from regional rival Notre Dame, it almost surely means Jim Harbaugh is not leaving Michigan this offseason.

While Michigan is Elston’s alma mater, Harbaugh was the one to extend him the offer to join his staff. Elston has been with former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly since their Central Michigan days nearly two decades ago. Though he could have followed him to LSU, linking up with the defending Big Ten champions seems like a smart move. It also means Harbaugh is not leaving.

Why would Harbaugh try to bring Elston to Ann Arbor if he is then going to leave for an NFL job?

Michigan football program hires DL coach Mike Elston away from Notre Dame

Though there was a chance Elston could have stayed in South Bend, him not immediately being named the Fighting Irish’s new defensive coordinator on Marcus Freeman’s staff was telling. It was a great decade run for Elston at Notre Dame, but it was time to move on. Elston is an elite recruiter, which is a massive gain for the Michigan program, as well as a huge loss for Notre Dame.

Ultimately, Harbaugh would be so foolish to leave Michigan now. He has all the leverage to get back all the salary he had to give up last year to stay. More importantly, the Wolverines are coming off their best season in a generation. Why would an alum leave his alma mater when there is so much ground to be made up on Ohio State this offseason? This is a great time to be a Wolverine.

By hiring Elston away from Notre Dame, the Wolverines are about to become something fierce.

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