Jim Harbaugh has his coordinators all set for his new job with the Los Angeles Chargers. The former Michigan head coach brought with him another former Wolverine, Jesse Minter, to serve as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2024, the Chargers announced Tuesday. Later, NFL Media reported that Harbaugh brought in Greg Roman as his offensive coordinator. Roman, of course, was Harbaugh’s OC when he was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
Minter was Michigan’s defensive coordinator for two seasons, helping bring a national title to the program in 2023. He said his official goodbye to the school via social media on Tuesday.
“Nothing but love to everyone at Michigan, especially the players. We had a great journey together,” the 40-year-old posted, along with a graphic featuring players and coaches, including Harbaugh.
Minter’s defense led the nation in fewest points allowed at 13.1 points per game and third in yards per play allowed at 4.5 during his time in Michigan. He was a finalist for Broyles Award, an award for the nation’s top assistant coach, in 2022.
Before joining Michigan, Minter was the defensive coordinator and safeties coach for Vanderbilt in 2021. His NFL career began in 2017 as the defensive assistant for the Baltimore Ravens, working with Jim’s brother, John Harbaugh. He stayed with the Ravens through 2020, also holding the titles of assistant defensive backs coach and defensive backs coach during his time there.
Minter is not the only Michigan alum the Chargers are bringing in. L.A. is also expected to hire Wolverine’s defensive line coach Mike Elston to serve in the same position, per ESPN. In 2023, the Chargers were 28th in average yards allowed (362.9) and 24th in average points allowed (23.4). The Chargers’ defense has needed some work as of recently, as it has struggled to help the team in winning close games.
Offensively, Roman has shown an ability to design a creative and powerful run game. He has typically been able to do so in the context of having an elusive rushing threat at QB — Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo, and Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. Justin Herbert is not that kind of runner, but he is very mobile and he has outrageous physical traits as a passer.
How Roman taps into those traits will be something to watch. The Ravens parted ways with Roman last offseason in large part because they needed to revitalize their passing game, which had become stale throughout Roman’s tenure as the coordinator. The Chargers have been underperforming relative to their talent level already, and will need Roman to level things up. How well he is able to do that will play a significant role in how successful Harbaugh ultimately is in L.A.