Shafer resigns as Michigan's defensive coordinator

December, 16, 2008
12/16/08
4:21
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Scott Shafer resigned as Michigan's defensive coordinator after only one season on the job.

From the release:

University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez announced today that Scott Shafer resigned his position as defensive coordinator. Shafer spent the 2008 season as the Wolverines' defensive coordinator and also worked with the cornerbacks.

"Scott and I agreed that moving in a different direction was in the best interest of the program," said Rodriguez. "I appreciate Scott's hard work on behalf of Michigan football the past year. He is a good football coach, a good person and a true professional. We wish him well in the future."

Rodriguez will continue to evaluate his staff and review all possibilities before deciding upon a new defensive coordinator.

This isn't a total surprise, as Michigan certainly underachieved on defense this fall, finishing 10th in the Big Ten in scoring (28.9 points per game) and ninth in yards allowed (366.9 yards per game). The unit got next to no help from Rodriguez's offense but should have been better, particularly in the front seven.

Shafer was one of few outsiders Rodriguez brought in for his staff, most of whom joined him in Ann Arbor from West Virginia. The resignation or firing, however you choose to look at it, is certainly a setback for Shafer, a rising star who seemed destined for a head-coaching position in the near future.

No word yet on possible replacements. Michigan's linebackers coach Jay Hopson has defensive coordinator experience at Southern Miss (2005-07), and defensive line coach Bruce Tall served as defensive coordinator at Harvard, Northeastern and Ohio Wesleyan.

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