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Michigan hires running backs coach and run-game coordinator Tony Alford away from rival Ohio State

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan hired running backs coach and run-game coordinator Tony Alford away from rival Ohio State on Wednesday.

Wolverines coach Sherrone Moore pulled off a bold move in building his first staff after Jim Harbaugh’s return to the NFL, adding one of Ryan Day’s top assistants with the Buckeyes.

“Tony is an elite running backs coach who is an outstanding mentor and example for young men in all aspects of football and life,” Moore said in a statement.

Alford replaces Mike Hart, the former Wolverines star who had been running backs coach under Harbaugh for three seasons. A message seeking comment was left with Hart.

Alford posted a statement on social media thanking Ohio State and its fans for nine “amazing” years, but he did not indicate his next move.

“All that being said, as I will undoubtedly miss so many things about being a member of the Buckeye Football Family, I am excited about what the future holds as I embark on the next chapter of this journey,” Alford posted.

Ohio State hired Alford away from Notre Dame in 2015 as running backs coach and assistant head coach, and Day promoted him to run-game coordinator a little more than a year ago.

Harbaugh led the Wolverines to their first national title since 1997, then left to lead the Los Angeles Chargers two months ago. He encouraged athletic director Warde Manuel to hire Moore, who was Harbaugh's offensive coordinator.

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AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.

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