ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has made a bold move to give its football program a boost.
The Wolverines are hiring Doug Nussmeier away from Alabama to be Brady Hoke's offensive coordinator, a person familiar with the process said. The person spoke Thursday morning to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced.
"I think this is a good move for him because at Alabama, he would never get the credit he's due because everybody thinks you should have always success there because of all the talent," Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton, who was coached by Nussmeier at Michigan State, said in a telephone interview. "At Michigan, they've had an identity crisis on offense and he can help them out a ton with that and it can help him become a head coach soon.
"I've kept in touch with him over the years and it's going to make it harder for me to root against Michigan."
Alabama hired Nussmeier nearly two years ago to be Nick Saban's offensive coordinator after he directed the Washington Huskies' offense the previous three seasons. Nussmeier also spent one season as offensive coordinator at Fresno State and had stints as quarterbacks coach with Michigan State and the St. Louis Rams.
"Not only does he have a good deal of experience as a coach and a player both at the college and NFL level, but he also brings a great passion for the game and a lot of energy and enthusiasm," Saban said when he hired Nussmeier in 2012.
Michigan fired offensive coordinator Al Borges on Wednesday after the Wolverines ranked 86th in the nation in total offense and flopped to a 7-6 finish. Borges was one of several assistants who came with Hoke in 2011 from his staff at San Diego State.
Nussmeier made $680,000 last season in the second of his three-year deal at Alabama after getting a $90,000 raise last April.
He'll likely make even more at Michigan.
Nussmeier will probably provide a return on the investment if he can turn around an offense led by returning quarterback Devin Gardner.
The Wolverines scored 41 points in both a win over Notre Dame and a near-upset against Ohio State, but their offensive line was overmatched in losses to Michigan State and Nebraska. They had minus-48 yards rushing — a school record — against the Spartans and minus-21 yards rushing against the Cornhuskers.
Michigan ranked last in major college football by giving up 114 tackles for losses.
Nussmeier was nominated last season for the Broyles Award, which honors the top assistant coach in college football.
In his first year with the Crimson Tide, he helped them win a national championship with one of its best seasons offensively. Alabama set school records in 2012 with 68 touchdowns and 6,237 yards of offense.
At Washington, Nussmeier helped develop quarterback Jake Locker, who was taken No. 8 overall in the 2011 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. He was the Rams' quarterbacks coach when Marc Bulger earned a spot in the Pro Bowl after the 2006 season. And with the Spartans, he helped Stanton and Jeff Smoker set school records.
"Everything he does is impressive," Stanton said. "He cares about kids and wants them to get their education. He works with them at their craft, demanding respect and asking a lot of them and you want to give him everything you have because you love playing for him."
Nussmeier was a star quarterback at Idaho, where he won the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the second tier of college football in 1993. The New Orleans Saints drafted the Oregon native in the fourth round in 1994 and he was used sparingly. He helped the British Columbia Lions win the 2000 Grey Cup in the CFL before beginning his coaching career.
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