If you can't beat 'em: Former Michigan captain joins Ohio State coaching staff

Jack Baer
Joe Bolden racked up 270 total tackles during his career at Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Former Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden is switching sides in one of college football’s fiercest rivalries.

Once a captain on Jim Harbaugh’s first team in Ann Arbor, Bolden has joined the Ohio State coaching staff as a defensive quality control coach under Ryan Day, according to the Toledo Blade's Kyle Rowland. Bolden’s Twitter bio seems to confirm the move.

Bolden graduated from Michigan in 2015 and went undrafted in he NFL, later starting a coaching career. He has previously held jobs as a graduate assistant at Michigan and Washington State, and worked last season as a special teams quality control analyst for USC.

He joined Michigan’s program one season after its last win over Ohio State in 2011.

Joe Bolden crosses the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry

Bolden will be joining a pair of familiar faces at Ohio State. Per Rowland, the Ohio native grew up next to Buckeyes defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs and played under co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and special teams coordinator Matt Barnes at Michigan. Of course, he is the only one of that group to actually attend Michigan.

The hire is sure to inspire heated reactions from Wolverines fans, though it’s hard to blame Bolden for making the move if it was his best opportunity.

He appears to be getting a better title at Ohio State than he had at USC, and it’s undeniable that the Buckeyes coaching staff is a good place to move up in the world of college football coaching. That won’t make the Buckeyes-Wolverines game any less awkward in November, though.

According to The Detroit News, there is actually precedent for a player to cross the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry as a coach. Gary Moeller was also a captain at Ohio State in 1962 and later became head coach at Michigan in 1990.

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