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Volume 21 No. 31
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Running back from Jim Harbaugh’s past now serves as jack-of-all-trades for Michigan coach

Amid the increasing evolution of college football support staffs, SportsBusiness Journal sought out some of the unique people and positions that have been part of that growth.

Rogan, with his high school coach (left), serves as Jim Harbaugh’s right-hand man.

The only thing longer than a day with J.T. Rogan is his title. Rogan, a former college running back and TV analyst, is Michigan football’s director of internal communications and operations for the head football coach.

Translation: Rogan keeps the trains running on time in Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s busy world.

That could range from the routine, like planning summer camps and social media, to taping a podcast or consulting with The Montag Group on the production of an eight-episode docuseries that will run on Amazon Prime in early 2018.

“There are no boring days,” Rogan said. “At a lot of programs, guys are taught to stay in their lane. We have the license to think creatively to enhance the program. … College football is not that dissimilar to other industries where the demand for being versatile is greater than ever. The ability to be a jack-of-all-trades is really important.”

Rogan’s background in football and media made him a uniquely qualified fit for this role on the Wolverines’ support staff. He’s part operations director, part brand manager for one of the elite programs in the country.

“The demand for our content is growing, and the method we’re reaching our fans has to evolve,” said Rogan, who hosts Harbaugh’s weekly podcasts, where guests range from Judge Judy to Ric Flair.

Rogan played for Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, where he finished as the school’s all-time leading rusher, and later coached on his staff at Stanford. The two stayed in touch until this job became available last year. Neither the job nor the title fit neatly on an organizational chart or a business card, but Rogan has adapted to the ever-shifting demands of a high-profile coach at a blue-chip program.

“The same way I was challenged as an athlete is the same way I’m challenged here in the workplace,” he said.

— Michael Smith