Last year, Anthony Campanile smiled as he recalled one of his childhood memories, telling the reporters in his midst about those days when he played backyard football while pretending to be a Michigan Wolverine.
To Campanile, the program always had an allure, which helped draw him to Ann Arbor 12 months ago to coach the team’s linebackers.
“I think he was at the pinnacle of college football,” his brother, Vito, told the Free Press last week.
For 369 days, Campanile remained there until he took a job with the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 15. His departure created yet another vacancy on Jim Harbaugh’s staff, which has been in a state of flux since he was hired at Michigan in December 2014. This offseason, Harbaugh had to reassemble his band of assistants after safeties coach Chris Partridge joined Ole Miss as its co-defensive coordinator and Campanile skipped off to the NFL. Shortly thereafter, Harbaugh filled Partridge’s slot with Bob Shoop and enlisted Brian Jean-Mary to replace Campanile.
They became the 23rd and 24th on-field assistants to work under Harbaugh at Michigan, where only two holdovers from his original staff remain — cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich and Harbaugh’s oldest son, Jay, who presides over the running backs and was just given the responsibility of special teams coordinator.
As Harbaugh has introduced new faces and watched others leave, he has tweaked the responsibilities of the personnel around him, redrafted the organizational flow chart and created a mishmash of titles.
In some years, he has delegated an assistant to supervise both the quarterbacks and receivers. In others, he has assigned someone to oversee one of those position groups exclusively.