A woman will play for Michigan football next season, but it’s not going to be the first female coach.
That’s the message from Mary Lou Klima, the women’s basketball coach and former head coach of the Maryland women’s team.
Mary Lou Krima has announced her intention to be a head coach at Michigan.
She’ll take over the women on the football team when it returns to the Big Ten after this season.
Michigan’s women’s program has struggled with turnover since taking over in the summer of 2014.
It’s not uncommon for a women’s coach to be hired to fill a head coaching vacancy, but this is the first time Krimas has been confirmed as a head-coaching candidate.
It’s a tough situation for Michigan women’s athletics, Klimas told reporters Monday at a news conference.
It has a lot of talented players and coaches and a lot to prove, but I think we can compete and I think the coaching staff can.
Krimas will take over a program that has not made the NCAA tournament since it finished last in the Big East in 2016. “
I think we’re ready to compete and it will be a great experience.”
Krimas will take over a program that has not made the NCAA tournament since it finished last in the Big East in 2016.
But the program is in the thick of the College Football Playoff race and has been one of the most improved programs in the country in recent years.
The Wolverines lost eight games to finish third in the conference and lost three of their final five games, including a 23-7 loss to Maryland on Saturday.
Maryland (10-3, 7-1 Big Ten) is one of five teams in the final eight of the playoff.
The Terps were ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press preseason poll.
Michigan (9-4, 6-4) is still searching for its first bowl berth since 2009.
It is not the first program to have to do so, but the first in which the Wolverines will have to make a bowl game.
Michigan was scheduled to play Penn State in the BCS Championship on Dec. 30.
Klima said that Michigan has been in conversations with multiple teams about being a candidate.
She said she has been approached by a number of potential candidates including former Michigan defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, former offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and former quarterbacks coach Matt Lubick.
Krima said she hasn’t decided whether she will take the job until after the season, and will announce her decision after the bowl season.
The athletic department is still looking for a new head coach.
A search committee was formed last week and will meet in Ann Arbor on Monday.
Kimberly Rains is a staff writer for ESPN.
Follow her on Twitter @KIMBERLYRAINS.