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Running backs coach Mike Hart will be leaving Indiana’s staff for the same position at Michigan.

Hart, who was also promoted to associate head coach in 2020, spent four seasons at IU as running backs coach, replacing Deland McCullough, who matriculated from USC to the Kansas City Chief.

This is a return to Hart’s alma mater. He was a two-time Doak Walker Award finalist and finished fifth in the 2006 Heisman Trophy voting for Michigan. Hart set the Wolverines’ freshman rushing record with 1,455 yards, which was the second-best output by a rookie rusher in Big Ten history.

He was a sixth-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2008.

“Michigan has always held a special place in my heart,” Hart said in a release. “It is a place that always believed in me and a place that I have always have believed in. I am excited to join Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan staff, and can’t wait to get to work with a talented running back group.”

Hart was a valuable assistant for the Hoosiers, helping bring in current workhorse back Stevie Scott thanks to their mutual backgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y. He also helped bring in a four-star prospect in Sampson James, the highest-rated recruit in IU history, according to 247Sports. IU also utilized some of Hart’s Michigan connections to grab fellow sophomore David Ellis.

In 2018, Hart was a nominee for the Bryoles Award, which goes to the top assistant in college footblal. IU has now had its last three Broyles nominees move on to other jobs, including defensive coordinator Kane Wommack in 2020 (head coach at South Alabama) and offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer in 2019 (head coach at Fresno State).

While this is somewhat a product of IU’s success, this continues a trend of significant staff turnover in the last year-plus. IU is also in need of a linebackers coach with the departure of Wommack. Tom Allen will have hired six new assistants in the 2020 and ’21 offseasons after he replaces Wommack and Hart, which also includes strength coach Aaron Wellman replacing performance coaches David Ballou and Matt Rhea.

Last offseason, Allen hired a new tight ends coach, Kevin Wright, safeties coach, Jason Jones, and defensive line coach, Kevin Peoples. Nick Sheridan was shifted to offensive coordinator.

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