The Wolverine

March 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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72 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2021   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL "I was in a great situation at my previous institution," he admitted. "Really, the program we were build‑ ing — it was the longest I'd been any‑ where, which was four years. It was one of those things that when [Har‑ baugh] called, I knew what we had. "… It's just hard when you leave your guys, that's the thing. But obvi‑ ously, this is home. This is where I want to be for a long time. I'm just excited to be here, and it really is ex‑ citing to work with these guys." — Chris Balas RON BELLAMY MADE 'NO-BRAINER' DECISION TO 'COME HOME' Jim Harbaugh tapped a familiar name and face to be his new wide receivers coach in Ron Bellamy, a former Wolverine wideout from 1999‑2002 who was previously the head coach at West Bloomfield (Mich.) High for 11 seasons. Bellamy, coming off a Division 1 state title just last month, is elated to be back at his alma mater. "I'm excited to get this thing roll‑ ing," Bellamy said on the In The Trenches podcast with Jon Jansen. "Where else would you rather be than Ann Arbor, Michigan? Every day you get to open that door to Schembechler Hall, and it's just a magical place." Bellamy is one of two former play‑ ers to return to Ann Arbor as part of Harbaugh's staff shakeup that saw five assistant coaching positions turn over, with running backs coach Mike Hart being the other. "I've known Mike since his play‑ ing days at Michigan, although we never played together," Bellamy said. "That Michigan brotherhood never goes away. "We looked at each other in one of our meetings, and the first thing we said was, 'Wow, we're coaches here at the University of Michigan.' This is home for us. This is where we be‑ came men. [Former U‑M head coach] Lloyd Carr helped build a founda‑ tion for us to be husbands and fa‑ thers and just great people." While West Bloomfield was mak‑ ing its playoff run in January, Bel‑ lamy was weighing his options for the future. He had been approached by multiple college programs, he re‑ vealed, but he decided U‑M made the most sense, after he and his wife made a "pros and cons" list and spoke with some of his former teammates. "I think, ultimately, what really was a game‑changer for us is that it was an opportunity to come back home," Bellamy explained. "It was easier for us to say 'yes' to Michigan, as opposed to other schools that had reached out. "It was a situation where it was just a perfect match for us. We live 35 minutes from campus, my wife works for the university, my wife went to the university as well. We have a strong family lineage there. My sister‑in‑law ran track, my brother loved [former U‑M running back] Tim Biakabutuka. "It was a no‑brainer when Coach Harbaugh called and he said, 'You ready?' I said, 'I'm ready to come home.' The rest is history." Being a former in‑state high school coach and a strong figure in the De‑ troit football community, Bellamy knows how important it is for the Wolverines to keep the state's top prospects home, especially with his experience sending players to Ann Arbor (redshirt freshman safety Ma‑ kari Paige, redshirt freshman line‑ backer Cornell Wheeler and fresh‑ man running back Donovan Edwards all came from West Bloomfield). "This state is rich in football tradi‑ tion; this state is rich in football his‑ tory," Bellamy said. "You start look‑ ing at the next level, the NFL, and you start looking at how many guys are playing in the playoffs, the Super Bowl, how many guys are on active rosters, practice squads, that played high school football in the footprint of the state of Michigan, you'd be shocked to see that Michigan consis‑ tently ranks in the top 10 or 12 states across the country of producing NFL talent. "My goal is, whoever they ask me to go out and recruit, I'm going to put all my effort behind it. One of my strengths is I'm bringing energy every day. I have this energy inside of me; that's my personality. I'm real, I'm genuine, I love building relation‑ ships. I think that's a foundation for success in anything that you do, and what better place to do it than the state of Michigan?" — Clayton Sayfie Bellamy played at Michigan from 1999- 2002 and had been the head coach at West Bloomfield (Mich.) High for 11 seasons before returning to U-M to join the coaching staff. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND THREE MORE PLAYERS ENTER TRANSFER PORTAL Three U-M players have recently decided to depart the program, with redshirt junior quarterback Dylan McCaffrey (Jan. 21), and lineback- ers Ben VanSumeren (Feb. 12) and Adam Shibley (Feb. 16) all entering the transfer portal. McCaffrey, who opted out of the 2020 campaign, completed 18 of 35 passes for 242 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, plus ran for 166 yards and two scores on 23 carries, in 10 games played over his first two seasons at U-M. He will play for his father, Ed McCaffrey, at Northern Colorado. VanSumeren, who will be a red- shirt junior next season, totaled seven tackles in 15 appearances over three seasons. Shibley, a former walk-on who later earned a scholar- ship, saw action in 18 games during his first four years, notching 24 tack- les and three stops for loss. — Clayton Sayfie

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