Report: Michigan football coach fired for covering up evidence in sign-stealing probe

Linebackers coach Chris Partridge dismissed by Michigan

ANN ARBOR, MI - APRIL 01: Linebackers Coach Chris Partridge speaks with Michael Barrett #23 of the Blue Team during the second 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.

The announcement was made Friday afternoon, after Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel said Chris Partridge was relieved of his duties. 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.”

Yahoo Sports reports that Partridge is not alleged at this time of knowing about the advanced scouting by Connor Stalions, but “acted after the fact to cover up evidence.”

Yahoo Sports also reports that a Michigan booster is named in the NCAA investigation for helping fund the alleged sign-stealing scheme.

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.

Yahoo Sports reports the new developments altered Michigan’s and Harbaugh’s approach to appealing the 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.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.