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Rodriguez hires new safeties/outside linebackers coach in Braithwaite

BY RYAN KARTJE
Daily Sports Editor
Published February 11, 2010

With the pressures of National Signing Day behind him, Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said his next big decision would be to hire a replacement for Jay Hopson — the Wolverines' former linebackers coach who took the defensive coordinator job at Memphis.

Rodriguez ended the search after just eight days, hiring staff assistant Adam Braithwaite to fill the void on the defensive coaching staff and coach the outside linebackers and safeties.

“We are excited to promote Adam to be our safeties/outside linebackers coach,” Rodriguez said in an Athletic Department press release. “He has been a loyal hard-working member of our staff for several years and knows our system. I believe he will bring a lot of energy both in coaching and recruiting.”

Added Braithwaite: "I am grateful for the opportunity that Coach Rodriguez has provided me. It is very flattering that he and the staff think enough of my work ethic and abilities as a coach to elevate me into a full-time position."

Rodriguez promised that the assistant coaching position would be “more of a safeties coach than a linebackers coach.”

As was previously announced, defensive coordinator Greg Robinson will coach the linebackers while assistant head coach Tony Gibson will continue to coach the secondary. Gibson will also take on duties as Michigan's special teams' coordinator.

Before coming to Michigan with Rodriguez in 2008, Braithwaite spent time as the defensive coordinator at Hampden-Sydney College (Va.), a defensive graduate assistant at West Virginia and the safeties coach at William & Mary, his alma mater.

Braithwaite takes over a position group that struggled mightily last year and could have his hands full with outside linebackers who often underachieved and a very unsure group at strong safety.

Rodriguez interviewed several other higher profile candidates for the job, including former Marshall head coach Mark Snyder, among others.