Michigan football fires linebackers coach Chris Partridge amid NCAA sign-stealing investigation

ANN ARBOR, MI - APRIL 01: Linebackers Coach Chris Partridge looks on during the fourth quarter of the Michigan Football spring game at Michigan Stadium on April 1, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images) (Jaime Crawford, 2023 Jaime Crawford)

The University of Michigan football team abruptly fired its linebackers coach one day after the school settled with the Big Ten over its suspension of head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel said Friday that Chris Partridge was relieved of his duties. Rick Minter will now serve as the team’s linebackers coach.

The university offered more context in a larger statement Friday afternoon:

“From the outset, our focus has been on seeking due process and allowing the NCAA to conduct a fair and deliberate investigation. 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 Chris Partridge of his duties as a member of the Michigan Football staff. Due to employee privacy laws, we are unable to comment further.”

On Thursday, the University of Michigan and the Big Ten settled out of court regarding a challenge to Harbaugh’s suspension in the sign-stealing investigation. The agreed upon settlement includes Harbaugh serving out the remaining two games of his suspension.

Partridge had served on Michigan’s football coaching staff from 2015 until 2019 before leaving for Ole Miss. He returned to Michigan this season as the linebackers coach.

Michigan takes on Maryland on Saturday at noon.

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