ANN ARBOR, Mich — J.T. Rogan is the director of communications and operations for the football coach at the University of Michigan. That means he is Jim Harbaugh’s right-hand man and gets to see, hear and experience everything that goes on in Harbaugh’s normal day.
Rogan’s days, which usually start at 7:30 a.m., vary by whatever pops up across his desk and whatever Harbaugh needs him to accomplish. This is a look at one of those days for Rogan as Harbaugh’s assistant.
J.T. Rogan’s first task of the day, at 7:42am, was to meet with former Michigan and Stanford player Wayne Lyons about community service opportunities for the Michigan football players. Lyons shared why he got involved with community service himself.
After J.T. Rogan met with Wayne Lyons, he grabbed a bowl of oatmeal and took it to go. Eating while walking and talking, Rogan walks to the parking lot to run errands for Jim Harbaugh. While driving and trying to eat his breakfast, a call comes in about Harbaugh’s weekly podcast that Rogan needed to take.
J.T. Rogan steps into Jim Harbaugh’s office to present him with a challenge coin given to Harbaugh by Max and Sherry Menefee. Harbaugh gives out challenge coins, which is part of a military tradition, so the Menefee’s had a special coin made for Harbaugh.
Graphic designer Aaron Bills and J.T. Rogan present artwork to Jim Harbaugh for approval. The piece shows Michigan’s former football players currently playing in the NFL. Harbaugh gave his approval after suggesting removing a tag line and adding his trademark phrase, Who’s got it better than us? Rogan gave Bills the approval to use the piece once Harbaugh gave the ok.
Long time Michigan equipment manager Jon Falk shares an office space with J.T. Rogan. Falk helps Rogan sift through Jim Harbaugh’s mail talking about some of the more odd items Harbaugh has received in the mail, which includes a Wolverine skin hat.
J.T. Rogan meets with representatives from Fathead about adding some “sizzle” and more photos to Al Glick field house. Jim Harbaugh, Jack Harbaugh and Rogan put the stickers up themselves for the players of the week after each game.
J.T. Rogan and Jon Falk open up mail sent to Jim Harbaugh. This package contains an American flag flown over the capital building. Falk says Harbaugh has received many flags that were flown over Afghanistan and other countries by service members.
J.T. Rogan gives a tour of the Michigan locker room for potential opportunities to add some “sizzle” and decals to the walls from Fathead. Rogan is exploring options to add some branded and non branded pieces of art to the wall.
J.T. Rogan’s desk is right in front of Jim Harbaugh’s office, so Rogan often acts as a gatekeeper. Quarterback Wilton Speight prods Rogan to see if Harbaugh is available.
J.T. Rogan has a unique perspective on Jim Harbaugh because Rogan played running back for Harbaugh at San Diego, coached with him at Stanford and now works for him at Michigan. Rogan said there are similarities and differences between coach Jim Harbaugh and boss Jim Harbaugh. The main difference is that Harbaugh has an open door policy for his players and Rogan needs to go to Harbaugh with solutions instead of problems.
Jack Harbaugh, Jim’s father, arrived in Schembechler Hall to drop off pictures for Jim and tell stories with J.T. Rogan and Jon Falk. The elder Harbaugh regularly helps out around the facilities and helps Rogan on a daily basis.
Jack and Jim Harbaugh along with J.T. Rogan have a weekly podcast. The elder Harbaugh wanted to know how the show went and if it was as good as the first episode.
J.T. Rogan talks about his experience at Michigan and what he has seen over the last 13 months on the job.
J.T. Rogan checking in with director of recruiting Matt Dudek about putting in padded seats for recruits, VIP’s and coach guests during games.
Part of J.T. Rogan’s job at Michigan is to organize and coordinate VIP visitors for Michigan home games. Some of the guests have included former Michigan players, Detroit Pistons players, rapper Big Sean and Eminem’s manager. During the games, Rogan makes sure the guests are well accommodated, including the family of Jim Harbaugh.
J.T. Rogan’s day isn’t over yet, but his time with ESPN.com is. Rogan has more tasks to complete and will be at Schembechler until they are all checked off his list.