Alford leaving Ohio State for Michigan


Less than a week after Michigan announced running backs coach Mike Hart won’t return for the 2024 season, the Wolverines have reportedly poached his replacement from their bitter rival.

As first reported by Football Scoop’s John Brice on Wednesday, Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford is expected to accept the same position at Michigan after Wolverines head coach Sherrone Moore made Alford the focus of his search for Hart’s replacement. Alford has been at Ohio State since 2015, helping to develop the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, J.K. Dobbins, and TreVeyon Henderson, among others, during his tenure.

In 2024, Alford was expected to lead arguably the game’s best running back tandem in Henderson and Ole Miss transfer Quinshon Judkins. In addition to the known commodities in the running backs room, Alford had also recently welcomed in two newcomers in early enrollees James Peoples and Sam Williams-Dixon, who signed at Ohio State as part of the 2024 recruiting class.

Alford, who made $772,500 last season, was not among the coaches who received a contract extension last month, leaving his long-term status at Ohio State in doubt. With a sizable pay raise likely involved, the job security of the Michigan position appears to have been enough to lure Alford away from Ohio State.

With Alford’s likely departure, head coach Ryan Day must again scramble to find a late replacement in his coaching staff after being forced to replace Bill O’Brien with Chip Kelly last month after O’Brien resigned from the position just three weeks into the role to take over at Boston College. Spring practice began last week, and while the team is on spring break, Day must move quickly to minimize disruption. With no clear line of succession existing on Ohio State’s support staff, the search for Alford’s long-term replacement will likely need to extend beyond the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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