Michigan football is facing a big loss as Ben Herbert, their head strength and conditioning coach, is leaving the program. Reports indicate that he will be following Jim Harbaugh to Los Angeles to take on the same position with the Chargers. Herbert has been with Michigan since 2018 and played a crucial role in their impressive 2023 season, which resulted in an undefeated record and a national title. He has trained numerous NFL draft selections, including first-round picks and Heisman Trophy finalists.
Herbert's departure means that Justin Tress, who has been on Herbert's staff for the past six seasons, will be taking over his position. The loss of Herbert is a significant blow to Michigan's coaching staff, as he was widely credited with helping to forge the team's focus and determination throughout the season.
Earlier this year, Herbert signed a five-year contract with Michigan that will pay him $1 million per season. It is unclear at this time whether Herbert will be required to pay a $1 million buyout to the university. Harbaugh himself had to pay a $1.5 million buyout.
While Michigan is losing Herbert, they have also seen their defensive coordinator, Jesse Minter, leave for the same position with the Chargers. With both Herbert and Minter departing, Michigan will be receiving a total of $3.3 million in payment for Harbaugh, Herbert, and Minter.
Despite the losses, Harbaugh has spoken highly of Herbert, calling him the "X-factor" in their football program and praising his impact on player development. Herbert's departure will undoubtedly be felt at Michigan, but the team will look to move forward and continue their success under new leadership.