“We are very excited to welcome Mike Hart to our staff,” Allen said. “He was a tremendous player in the Big Ten, played with the Colts and has an impressive reputation in this part of the country. I love the way he’s developed running backs and the level he has recruited as a coach. We are thrilled to have him as a part of our family.”
The University of Michigan’s all-time rushing leader, Hart spent three years with the Indianapolis Colts before entering the coaching ranks in 2011.
“I’m excited to be back in the state of Indiana,” Hart said. “I jumped at the opportunity to work with Tom Allen
. I believe I will become a better coach and a better man on his staff. Joining Mike DeBord, my offensive coordinator in college, and Nick Sheridan, my former teammate, made this decision a no-brainer.”
In his six seasons as a coach, Hart has tutored three 1,000-yard rushers, two Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year and the 2014 MAC Offensive Player of the Year, Jarvion Franklin.
Prior to Syracuse, Hart led the running backs at Western Michigan University (2014-15) and Eastern Michigan University (2012-13). He broke into coaching as a quality control assistant for offense at EMU in 2011.
Both of Hart’s WMU 1,000-yard rushers collected MAC Freshman of the Year honors. Jamauri Bogan rushed for 1,051 yards and finished second in the conference with 16 rushing touchdowns in 2015.
Franklin gained 1,551 yards, the second-highest freshman total nationally, and set program single-season records for points (150) and rushing scores (24). In addition to MAC Freshman and Offensive Player of the Year honors, he was named a USA Today Freshman All-American.
The Broncos earned consecutive bowl bids for the first time in school history. They defeated Middle Tennessee in the 2015 Bahamas Bowl for the program’s first bowl win and participated in the 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Hart oversaw a 2013 Eastern Michigan rushing attack that racked up 1,896 yards, the 12th-most in team history. Bronson Hill ranked 31st nationally in rushing, eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and secured third team all-league plaudits. In 2012, EMU ran for 1,960 yards and 13 touchdowns.
A 2008 sixth round draft choice, Hart carried the ball 71 times for 264 yards in his 21-game NFL career. His best season came in 2010, when he gained 185 yards on 43 carries.
Hart, a two-time Doak Walker Award finalist, finished fifth in the 2006 Heisman Trophy voting. The four-year starter (2004-07) set school career records for carries (1,015) and rushing yardage (5,040), and is third with 41 touchdowns. Hart ranks fourth in Big Ten history in career attempts and fifth in career rushing yardage.
He set the Michigan freshman rushing record with 1,455 yards on 282 carries and scored nine times. It was the second-highest rookie rushing total in B1G history, and Hart became just the third true freshman to lead the conference in rushing, joining Ron Dayne (Wisconsin, 1996) and Darrel Thompson (Minnesota, 1986).
Hart earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan in 2009. He and his wife, Monique, have two children.