Michigan fired linebackers coach Chris Partridge on Friday, the latest fallout from the NCAA investigation into the program’s sign-stealing operation.
Michigan said in a statement it would continue to cooperate with the NCAA one day after claiming the investigation was dropped and the university accepted to suspension of head coach Jim Harbaugh from all gameday duties the rest of the regular season.
Yahoo Sports reported as the Partridge news was announced that sources said investigators from the NCAA shared details of their findings with Michigan, including that an assistant coach attempted to discard or destroy evidence of the sign-stealing plan. The report also associated a booster identified as “Uncle T” as a key financier for part of the operation that involved staff assistant Connor Stalions. Stalions resigned Nov. 3.
Michigan had been fighting the discipline. The Wolverines hoped to receive a temporary restraining order to block the Big Ten from suspending Harbaugh in a court hearing scheduled for Friday, but relented on Thursday upon learning details of the NCAA findings.
“From the outset, our focus has been on seeking due process and allowing the NCAA to conduct a fair and deliberate investigation,” Michigan said in a statement on Friday. “Although the Big Ten has closed its investigation, we are continuing to cooperate with the NCAA as it moves forward with its ongoing investigation. Consistent with our commitment to integrity, we will continue to take the appropriate actions, including disciplinary measures, based on information we obtain. Earlier today, Michigan athletics relieved coach Chris Partridge of his duties as a member of the Michigan football staff. Due to employee privacy laws, we are unable to comment further.”
Rick Minter, former Cincinnati coach and father of Wolverines defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, was named to replace Partridge for the remainder of the 2023 season. Rick Minter was on staff as a defensive analyst in 2022.
Partridge was in his second tour as a Michigan assistant, returning this season after three years as Ole Miss defensive coordinator. Before he took that job, he was special teams coordinator at Michigan from 2016-19.