Mike Hart was excited to get the phone call from Jim Harbaugh. While the former Michigan running back knows Indiana is in the process of building a steady program in Bloomington, the allure of returning to his alma mater was too much to turn down.

Hart accepted the opportunity to join Harbaugh’s staff in Ann Arbor as the new running backs coach for the Wolverines. It’s a chance for Hart to excel on the sidelines of the field where he once excelled as a student-athlete. It’s also a move that should help Michigan on the recruiting trail, as well.

Speaking on the In the Trenches podcast with Jon Jansen, Hart said it was tough to leave the group of guys at Indiana, but he was very excited about the chance to return to Michigan.

“I was in a great situation at my previous institution, really the program we were building,” Hart said. “It was one of those things when (Harbaugh) called, I knew what we had (at IU), and it wasn’t just, ‘Yes, let’s come,’ but it was a ‘Yes, let’s come,’ if that makes any sense. It’s just hard when you leave your guys. That’s the biggest thing.

“But obviously, this is home. This is obviously where I want to be for a long time. I’m just excited to be here and really excited to get to work with these guys because there’s a lot of talent on the team, so I’m really looking forward to spring ball and getting back in the office and getting around the players and just kinda getting this thing back on track.”

Hart was at Indiana from 2017-20, his first coaching job in the B1G. He had previous stops at Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Syracuse before joining Tom Allen in Bloomington, where he spent four seasons.

During that time, Hart had the opportunity to coach backs like Stevie Scott III, Sampson James and Tim Baldwin Jr. Now, he’s ready to take his experience and knowledge back to Ann Arbor.

Michigan finished the 2020 season with a 2-4 record, but Harbaugh was offered a four-year contract extension. With new life, the seventh-year head coach made some sweeping changes to his staff, including bringing Hart in to coach running backs.

It’s a move many expected for a long time.