(97.1 The Ticket) Jim Harbaugh is taking a page out of Jim Caldwell’s playbook.
Harbaugh added former Lions offensive line coach Ron Prince to his staff on Friday, according to 247 Sports. Prince will serve as an offensive assistant, focusing on film review and game preparation.
The 48-year-old Prince has substantial college coaching experience, including three seasons as the head coach at Kansas State from 2006-2008. But he’s best know around these parts as the man who couldn’t fix the Lions’ dreadful run game over the past two years.
Caldwell brought Prince with him to Detroit in 2014 as his assistant head coach. Prince coached the tight ends through his first year and a half, before taking over the offensive line when the Lions underwent some midseason coaching changes in 2015.
The offensive line struggled mightily under Prince’s leadership, even as the Lions invested heavily in that position. Prince’s unit couldn’t pave roads for the run game and couldn’t keep Matthew Stafford on his feet. What’s more, it was said the offensive linemen grew tired of Prince’s fiery, in-your-face demeanor.
After the Lions finished last in the NFL in rushing in 2017 and Stafford was sacked a whopping 48 times, Prince was fired on the same day as Caldwell. He was Detroit’s only assistant coach to receive this fate.
Harbaugh, who’s made numerous changes to his offensive staff this offseason, didn’t wait long to scoop Prince up. At Michigan, Prince joins new offensive line coach Ed Warinner, formerly the offensive line coach/run game coordinator at Minnesota, and new wide receivers coach Jim McElwain, formerly the head coach at Florida.
Michigan also hired Dan Enos as an offensive assistant in December, but he audibled to Alabama about a month later. The Wolverines have yet to name a new offensive coordinator since Tim Drevno departed last month.
Michigan’s offense finished 91st in the country in points per game (25.2) and 105th in yards per game (349) amid a disappointing 8-5 season in 2017.