One and done for Michigan defensive coordinator Shafer

Updated: December 16, 2008, 7:26 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Michigan defensive coordinator Scott Shafer resigned Tuesday after only one season on the job.

Wolverines head coach Rich Rodriguez announced Shafer's resignation, saying "moving in a different direction" was the best move for the program. Michigan finished with a school-record nine losses this season and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1967.

"I appreciate Scott's hard work on behalf of Michigan football the past year," Rodriguez said in a statement. "He is a good football coach, a good person and a true professional. We wish him well in the future."

Shafer on Tuesday told the Detroit Free Press that he did resign and was not fired. Speculation about his future mounted when he did not participate in several major recruiting weekends in recent weeks. Shafer was the only Michigan assistant who hadn't been with Rodriguez at West Virginia or served on Michigan's previous coaching staff.

Despite returning all four starting defensive linemen and some experience in the secondary, Michigan ranked 10th in the Big Ten in points allowed (28.9 ppg) and ninth in yards allowed (366.9 ypg). Shafer had overseen successful defenses at Stanford, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois but struggled to produce similar results at Michigan.

"We just had a mutual decision," Shafer told the Free Press. "We had different thoughts on the way we did things. I take full responsibility for the demise of where Michigan's program is at this time."

Rodriguez did not name a replacement for Shafer. If he chooses to hire in-house, linebackers coach Jay Hopson, who served as defensive coordinator at Southern Miss from 2005 to '07, would be the likely choice.

Adam Rittenberg covers the Big Ten for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.