Michigan’s strength coach, Ben Herbert, follows Jim Harbaugh to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Known for years as the program’s X-factor, Ben Herbert, the head strength and conditioning coach for Michigan football, is bidding farewell to Ann Arbor as he follows Jim Harbaugh to Los Angeles. Various reports confirm that Herbert will assume the same position with the Chargers.

At 44, Herbert joined the University of Michigan in 2018 after a five-year stint at Arkansas, dedicating the last six years to Ann Arbor. Notably, during the 2023 season, he played a pivotal role in propelling Michigan to its first undefeated season and national title in over a quarter-century, earning the additional title of associate head coach.

Renowned for fostering a “one track mind” within the team amid numerous distractions, Herbert trained an impressive 95 NFL draft selections, including 12 first-round picks and three Heisman Trophy finalists. In February, he signed a five-year contract, making him one of the country’s second $1 million strength coaches.

The contract, obtained by USA TODAY and the Free Press through a records request, outlined Herbert’s annual salary of $1 million, with a base pay of $600,000 (unchanged from 2022) and a $400,000 signing bonus. Notably, the contract stipulates a $1 million buyout to the university within 30 days, though it remains unclear whether the Chargers will cover this cost.

Sherrone Moore, introduced as Michigan’s 21st head coach, emphasized his priority of rounding out the coaching staff swiftly, including discussions with Herbert. Harbaugh, in his move to Los Angeles, also secured defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, contributing to a total of $3.3 million in buyouts returning to Michigan for Harbaugh, Herbert, and Minter.

Despite the substantial losses, Harbaugh previously hailed Herbert as the best hire he had ever made, emphasizing his indispensable role in player development and overall program impact.

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