Sherrone Moore in meeting with Michigan staff announce Tackles ahead of coming 2024 draft…  

The hiring of a new defensive line coach is announced by Michigan football.

Michigan football has officially hired Lou Esposito as its defensive line coach, Sherrone Moore and the program announced Friday evening. The news confirms our report via U-M sources that we published earlier in the day.

“I am excited to welcome Lou to our Michigan Football family and look forward to having his leadership and experience directing our defensive linemen,” Moore said in the announcement. “Lou is a great defensive mind that has developed outstanding players and produced top units at the line of scrimmage throughout his coaching career. He will be a great asset and mentor for the young men in our program.

Esposito joined the University of Memphis as co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach this offseason after having spent the prior 14 seasons in the state of Michigan. Most recently, Esposito served as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Western Michigan for seven seasons (2017-23), working with the defensive line (2017-19) and ends (2020-23). It was his second stint with the Broncos where he first coached the defensive line from 2010-12.

Across 10 years on the WMU staff, Esposito helped players achieve 32 All-MAC honors including seven first-team accolades and 12 second-team honors. Standout performers included future NFL players Paul Hazel (2010), Freddie Bishop (2012), Robert Spillane (2017), A.J. Thomas (2021), Zaire Barnes (2022), Braden Fiske (2022), 2019 All-American linebacker Treshaun Hayward (142 tackles; third, NCAA), and 2021 MAC Defensive Player of the Year Ali Fayad (13.0 sacks). He also mentored all-conference performers in defensive linemen Ralph Holley, Marshawn Kneeland and Andre Carter.

Esposito improved the defense’s production, especially in the trenches. The Broncos averaged 2.0 sacks per game before Esposito’s arrival but averaged at least 2.3 per game in five of his last six seasons including 3.34 (fourth nationally) in 2021. He improved the defense’s TFL production from ranking 81st in the country before his arrival to fifth in 2020 (5.08 per game), with the Broncos finishing five of the last six seasons in the top 35 nationally. The 2019 Broncos’ defense featured four players with at least 4.5 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss and six total defenders with 60-plus tackles.

The Broncos participated in four bowl games during his tenure, playing in the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 2019 First Responder Bowl and 2021 Quick Lane Bowl.

Prior to his time in Kalamazoo, Esposito was the first head coach in Davenport University’s program (2014-16). He recruited more than 125 student-athletes in two years to build a program from the ground up and oversaw a multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign for a football facility. At Davenport, the Panthers posted a 6-5 record during their inaugural season in 2016.

Esposito was the defensive coordinator at Ferris State University in 2013. Under his leadership, the Bulldogs led the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in total defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. The unit was 13th in rush defense prior to his arrival. The program ranked top 25 in two of the national polls with a defense that finished top five in many GLIAC statistical categories in 2013. Esposito developed a pair of NFL performers, mentoring linebacker Brady Sheldon, a four-year NFL veteran, and defensive tackle Justin Zimmer who was a seven-year NFL performer after named a two-time All-American.

In his first stop in Kalamazoo, Esposito coached the defensive line for the Broncos (2010-12). He coached the 2011 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, Drew Nowak, who led the conference in sacks. Nowak went on to be named an All-American.

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