MI hires Alabama assistant Josh Gattis as new OC

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Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley left to take the head coaching position at Maryland, while co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Josh Gattis followed Locksley to become the offensive coordinator for the Terrapins.

In Tuscaloosa this past season, Gattis was the club's co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach, and helped mentor one of the top receiving crews in college football, led by Biletnikoff Award victor Jerry Jeudy (68 catches, 1,315 yards, 14 touchdowns). He previously coached for six years under James Franklin at Vanderbilt and Penn State.

By Thursday afternoon, Gattis was set to become offensive coordinator at MI, according to The Athletic. The football tradition at the University of MI is among the very best in college athletics.

Gattis will inherit a number of offensive weapons at MI, including quarterback Shea Patterson and wide receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black and Nico Collins.

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It is unclear where Gattis will fit in, in relation to Hamilton, who is also assistant head coach, under Harbaugh. Jaylen Waddle, Henry Ruggs III and Irv Smith, Jr. each had more than 700 receiving yards en route to the Tide winning the SEC title and playing in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Gattis left Penn State for a job under Nick Saban at Alabama ahead of past year.

Gattis, a North Carolina native, does have some experience in the state, serving as Western Michigan's wide receivers coach in 2011 under Bill Cubit. Jim Harbaugh's decision to hire a former wide receivers coach to run the offense could signal a willingness to open up the offense. According to The Athletic, Gattis will take over play-calling. MI scored just 17 points in a Week 1 loss to Notre Dame and 15 points in a Peach Bowl loss to Florida. With starting quarterback Shea Patterson and most of the offense returning, Gattis should have plenty of weapons to improve the unit in 2019.

Michigan's offense didn't have an official coordinator in 2018. With Gattis on staff, the Crimson Tide posted the best offensive season in program history 522 yards per game and 45.6 points per game.

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