Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier shocked much of the college football world Wednesday night with news that he had decided to accept the same position at Michigan. Nussmeier will replace outgoing offensive coordinator Al Borges, who was fired by head coach Brady Hoke earlier in the day.
The 43-year-old Nussmeier will reportedly become one of the top-five highest paid assistants in all of college football as a result of his new deal. He will take over a Wolverines offense that has gotten progressively worse in each of the last three seasons. Under Borges Michigan dropped from 42nd, to 78th, to 87th over the past three years.
In 2013 the Wolverines ranked 87th in total offense, 67th in scoring and 102nd in rushing nationally. But quarterback Devin Gardner will return in 2014, as will several talented young players like sophomore tight end Devin Funchess.
During the 2012 season under Nussmeier (his first in Tuscaloosa), Alabama set school records for offensive touchdowns scored (68), total points (542), total offense (6,237) and passing touchdowns (31). This season the Crimson Tide ranked sixth in the nation in yards per play (7.15) and were third in the nation in that stat in games against ranked opponents (7.59).
Nussmeier spent time as the quarterbacks coach at Michigan State from 2003 to 2005, then held the same position with the St. Louis Rams from 2006 to 2007. In 2008 he spent a year as the offensive coordinator at Fresno State before leading the offense and coaching quarterbacks at Washington from 2009 to 2011.
He is regarded as something of a quarterback guru and as one of the brightest young offensive minds in football. While it may seem like a lateral move, Nussmeier will get a significant raise and if he can turn around Michigan’s struggling offense, it will also raise his profile for potential head coaching jobs.
As of now rumors suggest that former USC head coach Lane Kiffin is the leading candidate to replace Nussmeier at Alabama.