Michigan football announces hire of Chris Partridge
The prodigal son has returned.
Michigan football announced on Wednesday that it is hiring former Wolverines recruiting coordinator, linebackers and safeties coach Chris Partridge to the staff, though it did not delineate what his role will be. Most recently, Partridge was the defensive coordinator for Ole Miss, the school he left Michigan for.
More details below, including a quote from Jim Harbaugh.
University of Michigan J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach Jim Harbaughannounced Wednesday (Feb. 8) the return of Chris Partridge as a member of the Wolverines’ staff.
“Chris has been a trusted agent, known friend and ally since we started working together in 2015,” said Harbaugh. “He is a phenomenal teacher and coach and will be a major asset to our team, program, and university community. We are so excited to have Chris, his wife, Marissa, and daughters, Mia and Gianna, back in Ann Arbor and part of the Michigan Football family.”
“My family and I could not be more excited to be back in Ann Arbor,” said Partridge. “Michigan has always remained a huge part of us. I appreciate Coach Harbaugh for having continued trust and faith in me to help him with the championship brand of football he has established. I look forward to working with the staff to recruit, mentor and coach the incredible young men that make Michigan the best football program on and off the field in the world! Go Blue!”
Partridge spent the past three seasons as the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach at the University of Mississippi (2020-22). He was the Rebels’ primary defensive play-caller in 2022.
During his time in Oxford, Ole Miss tied the school record for most wins in a season with 10 during the 2021 season. Partridge helped make a massive improvement in the Rebel defense over the past few seasons, with his safeties increasing their production each season. The program also tied the record for the most players drafted with six during the 2022 NFL Draft, including four players on the defensive side of the ball.
Prior to joining the Ole Miss staff, Partridge spent five seasons on staff at Michigan beginning as the program’s director of player personnel. He served as the team’s special teams coordinator for four seasons (2016-19), which included two seasons as safeties coach and two seasons as linebackers coach. Partridge was the Wolverines’ director of player personnel in 2015.
He was named National Recruiter of the Year by Scout in 2016 and received the same honor from 247Sports in 2017. Partridge was ranked a top-five recruiter again in 2019 by 247Sports.
Partridge helped lead a defensive unit that has ranked among the nation’s best during his first stint on the U-M staff. The Wolverines ranked first or second nationally in pass defense in each of his four seasons and helped make the defense one of the stoutest third-down units in the country over that span.
Under his direction, seven Wolverine defenders earned nine All-Big Ten accolades, including two first-team honors. He also helped Jabrill Peppers to a decorated season in 2016, when he was a consensus All-American at linebacker, won the Big Ten’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year awards, and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Peppers was a winner or finalist for seven additional national honors.
Michigan’s special teams also saw an uptick under Partridge. Six individuals earned 10 All-Big Ten honors including 2018 second-team All-American punter Will Hart, who was also named the Big Ten’s Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year and set the single-season and single-game punting average records.
Partridge came to Ann Arbor after serving as head coach at New Jersey’s Paramus Catholic High School. He grew a football program listed 4,250th nationally and 112th in the state of New Jersey to the top-ranked team in the state and No. 4 nationally by USA Today. He coached and mentored more than 30 Division I football players during that time, as well as various All-Americans.
Partridge earned his bachelor’s degree in government and law from Lafayette College in 2003.
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