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Posted on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

Former Michigan running back Mike Hart joins Eastern Michigan football coaching staff

By Staff

Mike Hart is back in Washtenaw County.

The all-time leading rusher in Michigan football history has accepted a position on the Eastern Michigan football staff, athletic department spokesperson Greg Steiner confirmed on Wednesday.


Former Michigan running back Mike Hart, left, and former quarterback Rick Leach share a laugh before Michigan's spring in April. Hart joined the Eastern Michigan football coaching staff on Wednesday.

File photo

Hart will serve as an offensive quality control assistant for head coach Ron English, who was Michigan’s defensive coordinator during Hart’s time in Ann Arbor.

A sixth-round draft choice of the Indianapolis Colts in 2008, Hart was released by the team in late July.

Hart frequently spoke about entering the coaching profession after his playing days were over. In November 2010, he told the Indianapolis Star that his dream job is to be the head coach at Michigan.


Bob Dobalina

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11:11 a.m.

Hey all you walmart wolverine fans. Now that motormouth Mike has joined the staff at EMU, How many of you diehard Michigan fans are going to pay to watch EMU play now that your idol little Mikee Hart has joined the staff. I bet not many.What a career move: NFL to coaching your little step cousin's team. How prophetic "Pride comes before the fall"


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:49 a.m.

I don't understand why his NFL career is over. I'm an avid Colts fan. Colts fans absolutely LOVED Mike Hart. Never understood why he didn't get more playing time. There were a couple games where he was the go-to running back because Joseph Addai and Donald Brown were injured and he was very, very impressive in those situations. I just don't understand. Did he have a career-ending injury that I don't know about?

1st Down

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 11:38 p.m.

Good for Mike Hart to get an early start on his coaching career. Q) does anyone know if his 3 years in the league qualifies him for the NFL pension?

1st Down

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:10 a.m.

Thanks Ed for the link...though that is just a few years old, the numbers tossed around in that article are shockingly low for guys who put their bodies on the line so much for the pro game...

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

If I'm reading the link below correctly, three years is the min: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Good Night and Good Luck


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.

&quot;sometimes your NFL career just gets taken away from you like a big brother taking away the ball in a game from his little brother, and so you end up having to go work at your little cousin's university for the rest of your life.&quot;


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 4:24 a.m.

Hart is 4-0 vs MSU. That won't ever change . Now he has taken a step to being a productive citizen unlike Charles Rogers, Andre Rison, and Mark Ingram.

Buster W.

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

Why do they call it &quot;Quality Control&quot;? Isn't that something you would like to maximize, not conrol?

Jimmy McNulty

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 10 p.m.

Wasn't this the same kid who said that playing MSU was like beating your &quot;little brother&quot; or something like that? So, is EMU now the little step-brother? BTW, I loved how Coach Dantonio used that put-down as the message to rally his team in that 2008 win over UM.

Jimmy McNulty

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

Correct you are, but it still worked for them.


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 4:19 a.m.

Too bad Hart was not on the team then. 4-0 vs MSU was Mr. Hart.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

Just for the record EMU has played in two bowl games: the Pioneer Bowl in 1971 (EMU was ranked 3rd in its division) and the California Raisin Bowl in 1987. Most EMU fans would scoff at the idea of Lloyd Carr as the AD. I'll give Hart a year at EMU, just like his predecessor Tyrone Wheatley.

Wally the Wolverine

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Quality Control Assistant??? What's the job description - keeping stats and monitoring workouts.? I guess you gotta start somewhere, huh?

Wally the Wolverine

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Got me there, bro. But I do get a heck of a discount!!


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

Beats working at Walmart.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 8:50 p.m.

Joe Paterno never played a down of football, but I'm sure Mike will have an impact on recruiting. I'm new to the area, and I would love to see a quality college program in the county..........Ya, that was a dig at you wolverine fans! LOL!


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 4:18 a.m.

Paterno was a QB/CB at Brown. He is tied for most INT's in a career at Brown.

1st Down

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 3:53 a.m.

Actually Joe Paterno was a QB at Brown University but that was many, many many years ago.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

I wonder if he'll have a hard time not bleeding blue when Eastern goes into the Big House in a month?

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

Whoo...Didn't see this one coming! But, hey, great for Mike Hart! The guy has tremendous energy, and was a hard worker. (I never cared for his comments about MSU, but, he was only a 20 something kid, at the the time. I'm sure he's matured a little since then.) And Ron English is a high energy guy as well. So its' probaly a great fit. If Hart wants to stay 'in the profession', there will likely be a few 'name schools' down the road that would be interested in him. (Dare I say, UM, when 'Freddy Jack' steps down? Have fun Mike, and give it everything you have!


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

Mike is coaching for Michigan's little brother, Eastern huh? Thats one line that will follow him for his entire career. DOn't get me wrong, I love Michigan football and I really liked Heart until he started trash talking MSU and being a jerk at that press conference. I think he lost a lot of the football community's respect that day, when his public persona switched from Barry Sanders to T.O. I miss the days of classy players and am really getting tired of the motormouths like Chad Johnson, TO and Randy Moss telling everybody how great they are (even when their stats say otherwise).


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 4:35 a.m.

@eagleman- Because I don't care for that attitude of one player, it means I'm not a Michigan fan? You couldn't be more off the mark. I am a total Michigan man and thats why I hate to see our player's snotty remarks being played over and over on national tv like they following that game. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Mike as an athlete but that remark was awfully bratty. If he would have been more gracious about that particular come-from-behind win it would have made the victory even more special.


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 4:15 a.m.

You are not a Michigan fan. If you were you would realize Hart was responding to Dantonio's arrogant words following UM's defeat to Appy State. You are the last person to call anyone a motormouth or to question their classiness. You are not honest enough to even admit that you are a MSU fan!


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

really? Did you read what you just wrote?


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Isn't EMU where Tyrone Wheatley got his collegiate start, too? Now, he's doing good things at Syracuse. Good luck to Hart. Sorry for him that the pros didn't work out, but good for him to get started in coaching.

bruce smallwood

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

Little mikee, he runs his mouth faster than he can the 40 yard dash. Why would he want to join the staff at his step sister's school. Coach D was right, Pride comes before the fall. Apparently, Coach Hoke did not need mikee's mouth, I mean talents on his staff.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

Hey Bruce...interesting you mention Hart's 40's the same two numbers as his record against MSU: 4-0 !!!!

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 8:50 p.m.

Bluemarker. Point well taken. Dantonio was the 'supposed adult' there. It was Dantonio that looked bad, verbally insulting a 20 year old kid. As it was, Hart finished second(?) all-time yards rushing in the big ten, after playing hurt his soph and senior years. Imagine what Hart could have done, if he was healthy for all four years..just nuts! And he was 'small' and 'slow'. yepppp. Just a perfect illustration of what 'Heart' pun intended.

Blue Marker

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

Yeah, Mike Hart's are real loser. He's only the all-time leading rusher at UM. And Coach D needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. Remember, it was a response to Coach D that got Hart opening his mouth to begin with.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

Welcome back. This is a guy who made more of his talent than anyone at Michigan because of his work ethic. Then, when the experts said he'd struggle to stick on an NFL roster, he made some contributions to the Colts. Sounds like the type of guy who will work his way up the coaching ranks.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

This is a good first job for COACH Hart. May he have every success at EMU (except against his alma mater) and in his future positions. Good to have you back in town, Mike! Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

I liked Mike Hart as a U-M running back and thought he played with a lot of heart on the field. He had enough talent to be a good college running back but it didn't translate into a successful pro career. I put Tim Tebow in the same category with Hart as another example of a college star whose shortcomings weren't as glaring at the college level but are exposed at the pro level. I wish Mike Hart well, although I thought his mouth and lack of self-control provoked some unnecessary confrontations with opponents. I would've hoped U-M could've found a spot for him as an assistant but apparently Brady Hoke doesn't know him well enought for that yet.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

I find it amazing at times how the world spins. It seems like yesterday that Mikee was breaking records at Mich.. Now Mike is coaching a small but rival school. Although I'm glad Mike got a job,,there is a small sadness in me that this is where Mike ended up. Who knows, Mike could end up coaching at Mich. one day. I'm happy for Mike Hart and I wish him the best. Now, getting back to Mich. I would like to see Coach Hoke stop talking about, &quot;this is Michigan&quot; and spend 100% of his time getiting our boys reeady for each and every game be they small schools or big time programs like the teams we have to face in the Legends division. I'm thrilled about this upcoming season, how about you all?


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 5:47 a.m.

Can't wait!


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Congratulations to Mike. Although I'm sure he wished his NFL career had been longer, I believe Hart will be a great coach someday. And actually I'm hoping he is successful so he may eventually come home as a coach at Michigan. He's a Michigan Man through and through. But first things first. He needs to help turn around EMU.


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> A more complete article at the above URL (Detroit News from this morning)


Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

I'm sure everyone hopes that Mike Hart's move back to our &quot;neighborhood&quot; works out in the best possible ways for him and for EMU. It certainly looks like Hart will be a great addition to Coach English's staff. Hopefully, EMU football will soon climb in their conference. Having both English and Hart certainly should help EMU recruiting. Go Eagles!

Chad Williams

Wed, Aug 17, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

Good Fit for EMU. He was a guy that worked his way to the topped at Mich. Hopefully his work ethic and leadership will rub off on that team. EMU is in for a great future if they will stick with english. They shouldnt have high expectations because they were never a winning program.His first two years were no diff than the previous 20. By the way i think Carr should become the new AD at emu as well im sure he has had a big hand in their Mich hirings.