Friday, January 11, 2008

Profiling the Defensive Coaching Staff

With the announcement today that Stanford Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer has been named as Michigan's new Defensive Coordinator, the Wolverines defensive coaching assignments are now complete. Here is a list of the coaches with a brief profile of each one from

Quite familiar with the Big Ten and Midwest, Shafer (41 years old) joins the Michigan staff after spending the 2007 season as defensive coordinator at Stanford. Prior to joining the Cardinal program, Shafer was the defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at Western Michigan (2005-06). He coached the defensive backs at Illinois in 2004 and began his coaching career as a graduate coach for former U-M assistant coach Bill Mallory at Indiana (1991-92). Shafer spent eight seasons at Northern Illinois, coordinating the defense from 2000-03 and served as the defensive backs mentor his entire stint with the Huskies (1996-2003). In addition, Shafer coached the defensive backs at Rhode Island for three seasons (1993-95). Shafer played quarterback at Ohio University in 1985 and then completed his collegiate career at Baldwin-Wallace. He earned his bachelor's degree in education from Baldwin-Wallace in 1990 and collected his master's degree in education from Indiana in 1993. A native of Painesville, Ohio, Shafer and his wife, Missy, have one son, Wolfgang, and a daughter, Elsa.

Gibson is the lone member of the staff to play for and coach with Rodriguez. Gibson has worked with the secondary at West Virginia since being hired in 2001, tutoring the cornerbacks and free safeties. He was named recruiting coordinator in January 2007. Prior to coaching at WVU, Gibson coached special teams, defensive backs and served as recruiting coordinator at Cumberland University (1997-98) and was defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at West Virginia Tech (1999-2000). Gibson played for Rodriguez at Glenville State College (1991-1994). He was the defensive backs and kickoff team coach for Rodriguez at Glenville State in 1996. Gibson and his wife, Kerry, have two children, Cody and Ashton.

Hopson spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator and middle linebackers coach at Southern Mississippi. He spent two three-year stints with the Golden Eagles, the first as defensive backs coach (2001-03) and the past three seasons coordinating the defense (2005-07). He was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at his alma mater, Mississippi, during the 2004 season. Hopson was the defensive backs coach at Marshall University for five seasons (1996-2000) prior to joining the Southern Mississippi staff for the first time. He also worked as a graduate assistant at Florida (1995), Louisiana State (1994) and Tulane (1992) and was the defensive backs coach at Delta State in 1993. Hopson and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters, Virginia and Hannah.

A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Tall joins the Michigan staff after spending the past five seasons as the Mountaineers spur and bandit safeties coach (2003-07). He is quite familiar with the Midwest and the state of Michigan, having served as defensive line coach at Western Michigan in 2002. From 1998-2001, Tall was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Harvard. He was also the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Northeastern (1993-97). Tall was an assistant coach at Cornell (1985-86) and worked two stints at his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan. He is a 1982 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. He received the 2001 Assistant Coach of the Year award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the All-American Football Foundation. Tall and his wife, Karmen, have three children, Braythan, Karsyn and Kallyn.

Go Blue!



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