Michigan fires Chris Partridge, LBs coach believes interfered with NCAA investigation

Michigan has fired linebackers coach Chris Partridge, the school announced Friday. Rick Minter will take on the role.

The team did not release a reason for Partridge’s firing. Two Michigan sources said the school believes Partridge interfered in the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan’s private scouting program, but has not determined he was directly involved.

The news comes a day after Michigan and the Big Ten announced they had settled their legal dispute and coach Jim Harbaugh will serve the remainder of his three-game suspension as punishment for the scouting and identity-theft scandal. Harbaugh will miss Maryland and Michigan’s regular-season finale against Ohio State on Saturday.

Michigan announced it was dropping its legal challenge to the Big Ten’s suspension, a sudden about-face from the school’s negative posture in response to Harbaugh’s suspension. An industry source explained at the hearing that new information continues to come to light through the NCAA’s interviews with Michigan staff, expanding the scope of a scandal that was initially linked to a staff member, recruiting analyst Connor Stallions.

Officials from Michigan are participating in those interviews and learning information “in real time” as the NCAA investigation unfolds, the source said. The Big Ten requested information from the NCAA before evaluating Harbaugh’s three-game suspension, but has now stepped aside as part of Michigan’s decision to drop its legal challenge.

“Although the Big Ten has concluded its investigation, we continue to cooperate with the NCAA as it moves forward with its ongoing investigation,” a university spokesperson said in a statement. “Consistent with our commitment to integrity, we will continue to take appropriate action, including disciplinary action, based on information we receive.”

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Partridge was in his second stint on Michigan’s staff after joining the program as director of player personnel in 2015. He was promoted to on-field coach the following season and coached at Michigan until 2020, when he moved on to coach at Ole. Miss Partridge was one of the coaches who helped develop a role in the Stallions program during his previous stint at Michigan. An industry source said.

The Wolverines (10-0) entered the weekend ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff.

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(Photo: Jaime Crawford / Getty Images)

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