Jim Harbaugh: Michigan has reportedly found its man to replace Brady Hoke. Former Wolverines quarterback Jim Harbaugh will be hired to lead his alma mater, according to Michigan author John U. Bacon, as the Wolverines were able to lure him away from the NFL and his contentious yet successful run with the San Francisco 49ers. This follows a report by Brian Cook of MGoBlog that set the likelihood of Harbaugh’s return to Ann Arbor at 99 percent.
” Jim Harbaugh is coming to Michigan,” Bacon tweeted Sunday night, “and his friends are flying in Monday.”
Update, December 28: ” Jim Harbaugh ‘s family is flying to Ann Arbor Monday,” FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman tweeted Sunday. ” Jim Harbaugh will be Wolverines new head coach.” Multiple NFL reporters said earlier Sunday that the Raiders still hope to try for him.
He was reportedly offered a six-year, $48 million deal, which would make him the highest-paid college coach in the country if true.
Jim Harbaugh was often touted as the dream hire for Michigan, due to his connections with the school and his success at every single coaching spot. In 2013, Jim Harbaugh said Ann Arbor was his “favorite place to live,” and his family and friends had reportedly been encouraging him to take the Michigan job. The Michigan community was also in support of hiring Harbaugh, as prominent names all spoke out in favor of the move.
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Other names floated around were LSU head coach Les Miles, former Rutgers/Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, and Harbaugh’s brother, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh played from Michigan from 1983-86 under former head coach Bo Schembechler, setting the Division I-A career passing efficiency record and leading the Wolverines to a Fiesta Bowl victory and a Rose Bowl berth. After an NFL career that spanned more than a decade, Jim Harbaugh spent time on his father Jack Harbaugh’s staff at Western Kentucky University and was hired as the quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2002-03, including their run to Super Bowl XXVII.
Jim Harbaugh earned his first head coaching opportunity at FCS San Diego in 2004, posting a 29-6 record in three seasons. He was hired as Stanford’s head coach prior to 2007, building the much-aligned Cardinal program into a Pac-12 power in just four years. Stanford won eight games in 2009 and 12 in 2010, including an Orange Bowl victory, a new program standard of excellence since continued by current head coach David Shaw.
Jim Harbaugh was hired by the 49ers prior to 2011, making the NFC Championship Game in each of his first three seasons with a Super Bowl berth in 2012. San Francisco is 7-8 this year, already a tenure-high loss total for Harbaugh. His stock remains high, however, as multiple NFL teams were reportedly hoping to hire him after his anticipated Niners exit.