Indiana’s coaching staff is complete once again.
Michigan’s all-time leading rusher Mike Hart is in line to become IU’s new running backs coach, a source confirmed to The Herald-Times on Thursday. Hart, who played three seasons for the Indianapolis Colts, spent the past year in a similar role at Syracuse after previous stops at Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.
Peegs.com’s Matt Weaver first reported Indiana’s intention to hire Hart.
The 30-year-old set Michigan records for rushing yards (5,040) and rushing attempts (1,015) playing under IU offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, who served in the same capacity on the Wolverines’ staff during Hart’s junior and senior seasons. Hart was also a Michigan teammate of new IU quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan.
After three injury-plagued seasons with the Colts, Hart joined Eastern Michigan’s staff as a quality control coach in 2011. He was promoted to running backs coach a year later before leaving for Western Michigan in 2014. There, Hart guided a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan. Franklin was named MAC’s Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in 2014 before Bogan earned MAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2015.
Hart will replace Deland McCullough, who left last week to become run game coordinator and running backs coach at Southern California.
Since becoming IU’s new coach on Dec. 1, Tom Allen has overseen a total overhaul of Indiana’s offensive coaching staff. Former offensive coordinator and receivers coach Kevin Johns and tight ends coach James Patton were not retained after the season, while offensive line coach Greg Frey, newly-promoted quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson and McCullough each left for new jobs. Frey took the same job, albeit with a higher reported salary at Michigan, while Watson took a step up as offensive coordinator at Pitt.
Sheridan was hired to replace Watson and former Houston and South Florida coach Darren Hiller was hired to replace Frey. Allen also hired former Ole Miss colleague Grant Heard to replace Johns as receivers coach.
Allen said after Thursday’s workout that his new assistants have done a nice job making connections with their new players ahead of spring practice, which begins Saturday.
“We’ve attracted some real high quality people,” Allen said. “I know one of their strenghs is relationship building and being able to do it in their own way. Everybody has their style. I feel like, so far, this is very new, for sure. There’s not a lot of time involved here, but spring ball will create a lot more of that time for them.”