The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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26 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018 BY ANDREW VAILLIENCOURT A fter its 8-5 season, the Michi- gan football program made several changes to its coach- ing staff — and not just on the offensive side of the ball. On Jan. 5, Al Washington was named a defensive assistant. The re- lease issued at the time by the uni- versity said he would work will spe- cialized package players in defensive coordinator Don Brown's scheme, while it was later revealed via a mem- orandum of understanding he would be in charge of linebackers and assist on special teams. He joins Michigan after spending one season as Cincinnati's defensive line coach. Prior to Cincinnati, he spent five seasons at Boston College, his alma mater, where he coached the defensive line, special teams and run- ning backs. He coached at BC with Brown, who was defensive coordina- tor at the school from 2013-15. "I may not know Michigan, but I do know Don," football writer Michael Sullivan said. "I think [Washington] works well with Don Brown. I think that's crucial. "He's got a proven track record with Don and knows what to expect out of him. He knows how to teach all the complicated blitz packages that Brown made famous at BC." Washington was the defensive line and special teams coach in both 2012 and 2016 at Boston College, and coached the running backs from 2013- 15. He worked closely with Brown and was known for his big smile and electric personality. "He really balanced Don a lot, which is why I think Don probably hired him back," Sullivan said. "Don screams and yells and the profanity echoed throughout Alumni [Stadium] whenever he was there. "Al was loud, but he kind of coun- teracted that. He was the good cop to Don's bad cop, especially for the defensive linemen." In his one year with the Bearcats, their defense ranked No. 94 in the country (428.5 yards allowed per game) and was No. 123 in sacks (12). While those numbers aren't all that impressive, his unit's rankings in 2016 at Boston College are. The Eagles de- fense ranked No. 9 in the nation in total defense (314.2 yards allowed per game) and was No. 4 in total sacks (47). They were No. 2 in sacks per game, bringing down the quarterback 3.62 times per tilt. In three seasons as running backs coach (2013-15), Boston College ranked No. 20, No. 15 and No. 73 na- tionally in rushing yards per game. In 2013, Washington coached An- dre Williams, who was the ACC's first Doak Walker Award winner for the best running back in America. Williams ran for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns that season — and was named a finalist for the Heisman Tro- phy, which was won by Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Williams was later picked by the New York Gi- ants in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Washington is known as a fierce recruiter, and has already hit the trail for the Wolverines. He visited with Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County four-star linebacker Otis Reese, who as of Jan. 21 was verbally committed to Michi- gan, but is being pursued hard by in-state power Georgia. YOUNG AND HUNGRY U-M Adds Al Washington To Don Brown's Crew Of Assistants Washington has coached several positions at six different schools since starting his career in 2007, including a stint at his alma mater, Boston College, that coincided with U-M defensive coordinator Don Brown's time at the school. PHOTO COURTESY CINCINNATI

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