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Posted on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 5 p.m.

Michigan linebacker coach Jay Hopson headed to Memphis

By Dave Birkett


Michigan linebackers coach Jay Hopson is leaving the Wolverines to become the defensive coordinator at Memphis.

Ann Arbor News file photo

Michigan linebacker coach Jay Hopson is leaving to become defensive coordinator at Memphis.

New Memphis coach Larry Porter said in a statement Wednesday that he would recommend Hopson to the Tennessee Board of Regents. A person familiar with the decision said Hopson's appointment is a matter of protocol.

"We appreciate all that Jay and his family did for Michigan," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said in a statement. "I am happy that Jay had the opportunity to become a defensive coordinator again, and know that he will do well. We wish him success at Memphis."

Hopson, who spent the last 2 years coaching linebackers for the Wolverines, previously served 3 seasons as defensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi, Memphis' Conference USA rival.

Michigan's linebackers, like the defense as a whole, were an overall disappointment this year. Middle linebacker Obi Ezeh lost his starting job after eight games, and weak-side linebacker Jonas Mouton was benched late in the season. Strong-side linebacker Stevie Brown led the Wolverines in tackles in his first year playing the position after moving from safety.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 12:27 p.m.

Actually Hopson and his family really don't like the Michigan weather and are moving south to be closer to family. Got a two year contract and a nice raise.

mark boillat

Sun, Dec 27, 2009 : 7:43 p.m.

GO BLUE> Those that stay will be CHAMPIONS!!!! All the way in 2010


Sun, Dec 27, 2009 : 6:21 p.m.

Let's say this is an opportunity for improvement. Think of all the possible coaches that are available. Like a kid in a candy factory! Rich could even hire his father like Lane at Tennessee and Jim at Stanford. GO BLUE ALWAYS


Sat, Dec 26, 2009 : 8:17 p.m.

This negativity from fellow Michigan fans is sickening. How do you look yourselves in the mirror every day? I also wonder how, as a troll, you can really devote THIS much time to spewing your hateful diatribes. Some people on here really have issues.


Sat, Dec 26, 2009 : 10:53 a.m.

Theo, RR will score 50 on every 1AA opponent they face next year, and 3 in every big ten game.

The Grinch

Sat, Dec 26, 2009 : 7 a.m.

Please, God, let him take NimRod with him!

Sean T.

Fri, Dec 25, 2009 : 2:53 p.m.

If they play a traditional 4-3 I think that they can improve the defense with a larger front four.(At least the DT's) Then it will free up our tiny LB's to make plays. And truthfully, everyone is so down on the LB corps that we had this past season but it was not the kids, it was the scheme! The O-line was constantly getting to our LB's which opened up the defense like a sieve


Thu, Dec 24, 2009 : 9:23 p.m.

The LB play was some of the worst ive ever seen, thank god this guys gone let Gregg pick his guy or the cat from nd but he coached DBs not Lbs need a Lbs coach im sure GR knows someone. I think are D is gonna be better next year..if a few freshmen step up ash cullen marv speed and power. Go Blue. *Let the haters hate*


Thu, Dec 24, 2009 : 8:51 p.m.

Its OK RR can pickup defensive coordinator Corwin Brown who played UM, is a great recruiter. Sources say Brown is not coordinating the defense for ND anymore since Kelly took over, RR should offer Brown the job then it'll be aight. Yeah ND wasnt good last year but it was that the ND defense SUCKED not the coaching. RR should hire Brown no-brainer. GO BLUE!!!!


Thu, Dec 24, 2009 : 3:02 p.m.

This is VERY good news. The people who hate Rich Rod will pretend like this guy was a GOD as a linebacker coach (yet they probably never knew his name before this article) just so they can continue to bash every article about Michigan will Rodriguez is coach. I am so glad I am not as miserable and spoiled as some of the michigan "fans" who bash every bit of news out of Ann Arbor these days.


Thu, Dec 24, 2009 : 10:31 a.m.

Theo, I hate to break the news, but you are no one's leader, simply tater's most ardent follower. I do agree with one thing you said, though: Merry Christmas!!!

Sean T.

Thu, Dec 24, 2009 : 5:26 a.m.

I agree with Tater.


Thu, Dec 24, 2009 : 12:13 a.m.

Maybe there will be an opening at Minnesota State for Coach Hayden Craig T. Coach Hopson...


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 11:54 p.m.

heartbreakM, Tater ".....A coordinator position? Based on what? 2 of the worst statistical years in Michigan football history....." ".....Apparently, Memphis sees something in him that a lot of UM fans can't....." Sounds like something that can also be said about our D Coordinator Robinson. Wasnt he a "Come from nowhere and did nothing but loose" guy before he came to michigan?


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 10:41 p.m.

I wish he would take RR with him.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 10:10 p.m.

I have yet to see evidence that RR has the ability to surround himself with quality people so I am skeptical that any new position coach will necessarily be an improvement. The one position coach i would like to see gone is his buddy Gibson.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 9:03 p.m.

Sounds like a step up, Michigan to Memphis.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 8:50 p.m.

Wow, definitely a blessing in disguise. The inside linebackers were Hopson's responsibility and that position group regressed despite an increase in experience level. The next hire is extremely important for Michigan football and Rich Rodriguez going forward.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 5:55 p.m.

Thank God!!! I can't believe I agree with Tater on this, but Hopson was a train wreck. The best part of this is that Robinson will be able to hire his own assistant, at least for the LB's. Good news all around.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 5:16 p.m.

Well, for about the first time, I agree with tater. I think Hopson probably wanted out to go back to the south--but it makes no sense to me. A coordinator position? Based on what? 2 of the worst statistical years in Michigan football history. Good luck to him and to Memphis, but this was a blessing to Rodriguez. Let's see him hire somebody who knows MIchigan football and defense. It'd be a good start.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 4:38 p.m.

I would have to say this is great. I haven't liked Hopson all year and prayed RR would oust him anyway. Now maybe RR will let G-Rob bring in a guy he's worked with in the past who is familiar with the scheme he is attempting to install here. Familiarity amongst coaches is understated.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 4:18 p.m.

Tater, you've been happy with everything under RR. Losing seasons, NCAA investigations, transfers, low morale... just the overall destruction of the program. I surely hope that you leave with RR once he's kicked out of Ann Arbor.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 4:06 p.m.

The program will be stronger moving forward. Coach Hopson, as someone else said, didn't have much to work with and worked with two different coordinators in a many years. I wish him well at Memphis. I had heard he and his wife didn't like the weather in Michigan and I wish them well in Memphis!


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 3:54 p.m.

Although he didn't have much to work with, 3 star obi was better as a sophomore than a junior and mouton was always lost. Hobson was a liability and needed to go. His players regressed. He couldn't recruit, either - his area of strength was the deep south (especially Mississippi)and he laid a big goose egg in two years.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 3:40 p.m.

This program is falling apart.