You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 11:04 a.m.

Former Michigan safety Ray Vinopal transferring to Pittsburgh

By Staff

On Wednesday, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke announced that safety Ray Vinopal left the program because of “a family issue” and would return to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.

Today, sources tell the Youngstown Vindicator that Vinopal will transfer to Pittsburgh. There, Vinopal would be reunited with former Michigan defensive backs coach Tony Gibson.

Gibson is the new recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach at Pittsburgh, which is located 70 miles southeast of Youngstown.

Offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and tight ends coach Tony Dews are other former members of Rich Rodriguez’s Michigan staff now at Pittsburgh.

Vinopal, a 5-foot-10, 193-pound safety, started six games for Michigan last season.



Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

This one paragraph really exposes Vinopal's twist of the truth: When asked if he would have transferred if Rodriguez and his staff hadn't been replaced, Vinopal said, "I can't really answer that question. I don't really know." But we all do now. Nevertheless, have a nice career at Pitt.


Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 5:32 a.m.

I can't believe the negative commentary on Vinopal in this comments section. Give it a rest! The kid was a true freshman and rated a 2-star out of HS. He definitely exceeded expectations, IMO. We lost a free safety with significant game experience. Who do we have now that can fill that role? No matter how you rationalize it, losing Vinopal hurts.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

Amen! Those who stay will be champions!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

To Answer a few here. What has this AD done to prove that he's a AD.He fired the football coach,and took to darn long to do that.Just because he played for BO,does this give him a free pass.He's a Pizza salesmen,and he let Mary Sue Colemen fly around in his jet.Did you people not see the cenus the figures the other day.Detroit has lost 25% of there people in the last 10 years,how about the rest of the state.Its a very trying time for the state of Michighan,and UofM.I just think you need someone a little stronger,than a guy that sells pizza in a cardboard box.Yesterday is History.Quit clinging to the past,ITS OVER.No i don't know Don Cannon either,sorry.Now let me give another piece of info.You should like this one.Jim Tressell is wrecking Ohio State,slow but sure.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Next..Those who stay will be on probation.


Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 5:39 a.m.

At osu, those who stay will sell gold pants for club money and tattoos. Straight outta Columbus...

Mr. X

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

I am weary of the RichRod defenders. Do you realize that RichRod's high-powered offense averaged 8 points/game against OSU? RichRod never did and likely never would have competed with the Big 10 elite. His defenses got markedly worse every season and while the offense did improve against mid- to low-level talent they were never able to compete against the elite. A change was necessary. By contrast, the pro-style offense of yesteryear averaged 21 points/game vs. OSU in the last three games of Carr's career. You may not have liked the style of offense but it was more effective against elite Big 10 teams than RichRod's spread. The numbers do not lie. And, btw, UM is supposed to be among the Big 10 elite. It wasn't until RichRod arrived that we no longer performed nor were considered elite. Regarding the "Grand Canyon" comment from Hoke, he has consistently stated that he wants his team to be tough and fundamental. Those are two aspects that were grossly lacking in the RichRod era. So, it makes sense that this team is a Grand Canyon sized leap away from being the tough, fundamental football team that Hoke wants. He is having to teach what wasn't taught the previous three years. Go Blue! Go Hoke!

Rich Rezler

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6:01 a.m.

The Youngstown Vindicator has updated this story with quotes from Vinopal. Find it here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:18 a.m.

Now that we have a big ten caliber coach we can start recruiting big then caliber players. Vinopal, was not one of them. Im sure he will find more success in the big east where he belongs.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 10:24 p.m.

Well dog gone it TP if no one is going to give you an Amen then by god I will Amen Tp and Go Blue.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

I so glad that he who is without sin, (any typos, ever), shall cast the first (verbal) stone. Can I get an &quot;amen&quot; brothers?


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Big ten caliber coaches didn't do to well in the bowl games?


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:43 a.m.

Lol, that's the best Freudian slip I've seen in quite a while. The Big Then is pretty much what it should be called.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:18 a.m.

big ten*


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 4:56 a.m.

Vinopal transferred obviously due to his relationships with his past coach. Pitt is also nearer to Youngstown and he probably was promised a starting job there. There is a possibility that he felt that he is not a sure &quot;starter&quot; next season why he will forego a Michigan education and football experience. But life goes on, &quot; man is more than the team!&quot; - Bo

1st Down

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 4:48 a.m.

If Coach Hoke made reference to &quot;Grand Canyon&quot; well the fact is... RR left the Grand Canyon, particularly on Defense and we all know it. 2 star kids move out, and we can recruit NFL type talent on defense again. Hoke is it. Go Blue.


Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 12:33 p.m.

Yes Virginia, Hoke Is It.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 4 a.m.

There will be some attrition. Hopefully, not a lot. As for the &quot;family&quot; thing, it looks like RR and his assistants really did have a &quot;family&quot; environment at Michigan. Vinopal sorta forgot to mention which &quot;family&quot; he was talking about. Anyway, I wish him well. It's not like he is going to Columbus and bad-mouthing Michigan on the way out. He has been very classy in his departure so far.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1 a.m.

No loss...believe me I watched him start the Mississippi State romp with the interference play that started the momentum on a 3rd and long. Average talent at best, and definitely not a Michigan caliber player.


Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 5:40 a.m.

True freshman. Get a grip.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

I wish him luck. But, the big east is a joke. so maybe the coaches will have a little bit of good luck. the big east is not and will never be THE BIG 10 when it comes to big guys that are fast north,south,east and west. Offensive lines are bigger in the BIG 10. I say that the bottom teams in the B10 would give the best team in the big east a run for there money if not win the game. the old coaches were not meant to be in the B10. THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

I guess it was more than just a &quot;family matter&quot;. Whatever. Those who stay will be champions.


Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

Yes, at first, that didn't come out (Tony Gibson at Pitt) but we are now connecting those dots. Another factor is more defensive backfield recruits coming in. Nevertheless, have a nice career at Pitt.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:41 a.m.

Why do you guess that? Pitt is an hour away from his home in Ohio.


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 11:19 p.m.

Well, good luck to Mr. Vinopal, but it makes absolutely no sense to me. Here, he has spent a year or so at Michigan, learned the school, got to know people etc. A new staff comes in who has Greg Mattison (very good track record everywhere he has been) and Vinopal leaves ........ to be reuinited with Gibson, a coach associated with the worst Michigan defense in history? He must really love that coach, because from a coaching perspective and a future, it would seem that Vinopal has just traded his career prospects for loyalty. People transfer, and the player needs to be at a place where he feels comfortable, but don't actual results on the field matter?


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

You're making up &quot;factors&quot;. Nowhere, ANYWHERE, does mention of &quot;more defensive backfield recruits coming in&quot; exist in ANY article about Ray transferring. Not one, anywhere. Stop making things up.


Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

Yes, at first, that didn't come out (Tony Gibson at Pitt) but we are now connecting those dots. Another factor is more defensive backfield recruits coming in. Nevertheless, have a nice career at Pitt.


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 10:03 p.m.

These things will always happen when keep switching coaching Staffs every 3 years.Get used it.The new Coach will say the old Coach didn't have the right players to win with.Then throw in a New AD for good measure.Maybe the player that left didn't want to play for a MICHIGAN MAN.Be glad Michigan AD's don't stay around long either.He will wreck the place,by the time he leaves.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

Did you read the article(s) on RV? He left for &quot;non-football&quot; reasons. Please attribute where the current coach stated he couldn't use his current players. As far as DB is concerned, well, you're consistent. Is that a gut feeling or do you have something to back up your opinion that &quot;he will wreck the place&quot;?


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

Cutty, did you remember and like Don Cannon?


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 10:50 p.m.

&quot;The new Coach will say the old Coach didn't have the right players to win with.&quot; If you date your comment January 2008, then you are spot on. In this case however, you are dead wrong. TiM ... no excuses needed.


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

You could be right, I hope all goes well with Brady good lord the fans sure have their hopes up on that guy but you could be right about the other stuff to.


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

A more disturbing thing is something I read this morning where Hoke said it's a &quot;Grand Canyon&quot; between where the team is now and where it &quot;needs to be.&quot; Now when Our King took over, a comment like that was perfectly reasonable since we were getting clocked by the Big Boys year in and year out, and a change was whole-heartedly welcomed by all. But if Hoke fills in this &quot;Grand Canyon&quot; with off tackle runs, batted down passes, and 4-yard routes on 3rd and 12, then I'm gonna be first in line at the Westland Salvation Army in a couple years. DB had his glorious chance; To Keep The King, to see us dance. &quot;But a field trip now we do take; This is Michigan!, for goodness sake. To Grand Canyon we go, to sort things out; Yesteryear, boys, is what I'm all about!&quot;


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Great post TP I see some of you still can't let go of your love for Rich Rodriguez. It's okay to let go of your anxieties, coach Rich Rodriguez is gone although he left a positive influence on Mich. such as Denard Robinson will display again this coming season. Rich Rodriguez left a positive influence on Mich that although many hate to admit you will see it time and time again this year and the coming years in a much faster style (speed). When I hear some of you continuously complain about Rich Rodriguez it brings to mind that maybe you really do miss ol Coach Rich Rodriguez whatever, try to understand your coach Rich Rodriguez is gone.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

Although we will have to wait for to see where &quot;those expectations take us&quot; with Coach Hoke, we, unfortunately, already know where the WCiMFH to us. And took us. And took us.


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

this should go under this comment: &quot;Now when Our King took over, a comment like that was perfectly reasonable since we were getting clocked by the Big Boys year in and year out, and a change was whole-heartedly welcomed by all.&quot; The only team that was consistantly beating us at that time was OSU (and we were at least somewhat competitive in those games) ... the last 3 years we were consistantly getting beaten up badly by not only OSU, but also by all of the other good teams in the BT - MSU, PSU, Wiscy, and Iowa. Your man crush is warping your memory.


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 9:16 p.m.

I'll take 'yesteryear' or the three 'RRyears' any day or week or year. RR sucked and now he's gone yet over him some still do fawn Yet most M fans their minds are free they have a firm grip on REALITY


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

We'll see where those higher expectations take us.

David Vande Bunte

Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

Or, he simply has higher expectations than RichRod.

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

You would have to think this is related to his family, first and foremost. Pitt is about an hour drive and that certainly is closer to home than AA. It would also appear that having knowledge of the coaching staff has it's advantages given that he started for one of them at Michigan. I liked him on the field and he will get bigger and better, but this is not like an injury in that it was his decision. Best of luck to him and his family. &quot;Those who stay...CHAMPIONS&quot;. TiM Go Blue!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

Does anyone know where Tony Gibson is coaching ?


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

No, it's not good enough for me and I didn't just get off the turnip truck either. This gets announced by coach on wed. &quot;family issues&quot; and the next day it's announced he's going to play for Pitt. Look boys and girls, don't be naive about issues, it's okay if he didn't want to play in coach Hoke's system and it's okay on the flip side if coach didn't need his service whatever it is boys and girls, don't be so naive, it's okay.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

OK he said it. Sources said it. Coach Hoke said. That's good enough for me. How about you?


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Hard to say why he left until he personally gives a reason. There will be players that have reasons just like they had with Rich Rodriguez. Some will leave because they don't like the system some will leave for other reasons but until a player states his reason everything else is speculation.


Thu, Mar 24, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

I guess Vinopal leaving can be considered a consequence of the hiring of Brady Hoke. He played in all 13 games and started 6 so he has some experience that could have been useful for the upcoming year, but it would be hard to really regret the absence of any player from the worst defense in Michigan history. I hope he has success at Pitt.