ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After a little more than a year away from Michigan, former player and graduate assistant Roy Manning decided to return to his roots.
Manning, 31, was officially announced as Michigan's new outside linebackers coach on Monday, a little more than a week after former defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery left the Wolverines' staff for a similar job at Oklahoma.
"I'm excited to come back home to the University of Michigan," Manning said in a statement released by the school. "I played and went to school here, and there is no place like it, anywhere."
Manning played at Michigan from 2001 to 2004, being named the team's top linebacker in his final season. After not being selected in the 2005 NFL draft, he played three seasons in the league for five teams before turning to coaching, first as a defensive assistant at Cincinnati and then a graduate assistant at Michigan in 2011.
He returned to Cincinnati last season as a running backs coach and took a similar job at Northern Illinois in January. Now, he is on the move again, this time heading back to his alma mater and on to the defensive side of the ball.
"We always knew if there was ever an opportunity to bring him back, we would love to," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement. "We think he's one of the top young coaches in our profession. He knows our expectations."
He learned those expectations during his first stint as a Michigan coach, when he worked with the offensive line and helped relay plays and messages on the field for offensive coordinator Al Borges. Manning's voice was instrumental working with quarterback Denard Robinson in the moments before the game-winning drive against Notre Dame in the Under the Lights game in 2011, Borges told WolverineNation last year.
Former offensive lineman Patrick Omameh said he believes it’s a good fit for Manning and he’s glad to see his return to Michigan.
“Coach Manning is a great guy on top of everything but is also a guy who clearly has a deep passion for Michigan football and for the sport in general,” Omameh said. “[He’s] very willing to help out a player with needs or questions and has a head for the game.”
It is a feeling echoed by his former teammates. What stood out the most to former Michigan linebacker Scott McClintock was what Manning did when he wasn't playing. McClintock said Manning was always watching film and delved deeper into football than the usual instinctual side of things.
"He had a good knowledge of the behind-the-scenes work that goes in besides the see-ball, get-ball mentality," McClintock said. "He understood the entire defense had to be involved in the play for it to be done successfully.
"That’s what makes for a good coach, understanding the whole scheme of things."
At times during games, Manning -- an outside linebacker -- would adjust McClintock or his teammates if they weren't in the right position.
Now he'll do it again at his alma mater from the sidelines instead of on the field.