Maurice Linguist says his determination to depart Michigan soccer to develop into the top coach at Buffalo was tough — however the alternative was not one which he might cross up.
“Clearly, any time you make a transition, the recruits and the student-athletes and the coaches and the group that you simply’re a part of, it’s at all times tough,” Linguist informed reporters Monday morning. “However this was simply too good for me to not examine and be part of. As exhausting because it was to depart that state of affairs, we couldn’t be extra excited to be right here and prepare to work.”
Linguist, 37, first emerged as a number one candidate Friday for the job at Buffalo after former coach Lance Leipold was employed at Kansas. That very same day, Linguist was introduced because the Bulls’ new head coach.
That ended his quick tenure because the Wolverines’ co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, which lasted 107 days.
Linguist was initially employed Jan. 20 as a part of Jim Harbaugh’s employees overhaul, changing into considered one of six new assistant coaches to affix Michigan this offseason.
He signed a two-year deal scheduled to make him this system’s third-highest incomes assistant coach by paying him $680,000 in 12 months 1 and $690,000 in 12 months 2. Per the phrases of that contract, Linguist doesn’t owe cash to Michigan, because the deal mentioned there could be no buyout if Linguist accepted a head teaching job or a coordinator job exterior of the Large Ten East.
Linguist arrived in Ann Arbor this offseason from the NFL, the place he was a defensive backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. He had quick stops at Texas A&M (2018-19), Minnesota (2017), Mississippi State (2016), Iowa State (2014-15) and Buffalo (2012-13).
His job with the Bulls was his first within the FBS, as Linguist had beforehand coached at Valdosta State, which performs in Division II, and James Madison, which performs within the FCS. Whereas Linguist was in New York for simply two years, it was clearly a memorable second in his quick rise as a coach.
“I might nonetheless be at Michigan if it weren’t for this unimaginable alternative right here,” Linguist mentioned. “I’ve a number of familiarity with the College at Buffalo, a number of nice reminiscences that we need to carry again for all times and proceed to construct on.”
In his time at Michigan, Linguist was tasked with rebuilding a secondary that struggled in cross protection in 2020. Maybe extra importantly, he was requested to replenish the room with expertise after the Wolverines signed just one cornerback within the 2021 recruiting class in three-star prospect Ja’Den McBurrows.
It appeared Linguist was on his option to restocking the cabinet. Earlier than he left Michigan, he helped land commitments from five-star cornerback Will Johnson (Grosse Level South) and four-star defensive again Kody Jones; he had additionally reportedly positioned the Wolverines in competition for quite a few different defensive backs.
Recruiting will probably be a key element of Linguist’s tenure at Buffalo — beginning with gamers on the present roster and potential assistant coaches.
“Retention is on the forefront of faculty soccer proper now,” Linguist mentioned. “I believe it’s on the forefront of every thing in collegiate athletics and lecturers. Finally, there was a transition that happened, so that you perceive the method of among the children getting into the portal. We’ve already reached out to various these guys.
“We’re always on daily basis recruiting our roster. And we’re very assured in our skill to put out a imaginative and prescient and a plan that we consider our student-athletes are going to need to be part of and in the end retain these gents within the portal and get them again on our roster.”
In his opening remarks, Linguist addressed Harbaugh by title and mentioned, “Thanks for the chance to be with you in Ann Arbor on the Michigan employees.” Linguist additionally thanked Warde Manuel, U-M’s athletic director who was beforehand the athletic director at Buffalo (the place he and Linguist first crossed paths).
In a tweet despatched by the official Michigan soccer account Saturday, Harbaugh congratulated Linguist.
“I’m glad for Mo Linguist and his household on this chance to be head coach at College (at) Buffalo,” Harbaugh wrote. “We’re excited for Coach Mo and know that he’ll do nice issues as a head coach.”
Now, Harbaugh should discover one other defensive backs coach for the second time this offseason.
This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Maurice Linguist would nonetheless be at Michigan if Buffalo hadn’t referred to as