Editor's Note: The following piece was posted in the middle of a two-hour stretch on Sunday evening during which time it was widely reported that Stanford strength and conditioning coach Shannon Turley was headed to Michigan to become a part of Jim Harbaugh's coaching staff. Since posting, multiple sources confirmed that Turley is staying. Instead of deleting the post, I've allowed it to remain because it speaks to Turley's importance to the program. It's great to have him back.
No matter how successful a college football program becomes, there is never time for complacency. The coaching staffs of teams which reach the pinnacle of the sport immediately become targets as other schools look to hire away personnel to help them achieve that same success. And so it is with Stanford Football, which has lost multiple coaches over the past few seasons. When Jim Harbaugh left for the 49ers he took Vig Fangio, Greg Roman, and Tim Drevno with him. More recently David Shaw has had to watch as Pep Hamilton left for the Indianapolis Colts and Derek Mason took the head coaching job at Vanderbilt.
Losses like these, while initially problematic, are generally good for the program in the long run. They cast the program in a positive light, both for recruits as well as talented coaches who begin to see a spot on the Stanford coaching staff as a ticket to a head coaching position elsewhere. (To be clear, this is good so long as the head coaching position remains a destination job.)
With Jim Harbaugh coming back to the college ranks to take the job at Michigan, there were immediate concerns that he might spin to the Stanford section of his rolodex in order to fill his new staff. On Sunday night, the poaching began.