We all know Jim Harbaugh has one of the biggest personalities in the sports world today, and it is continuously picked up by the national media. While it may be distracting from the football field, there is no doubt he has a lot of fun as the head coach of the maize and blue and brings a lot of attention to the team by doing and saying some ludicrous things.
Here are the top five wackiest things Jim Harbaugh has done as Michigan’s head coach.
5. Saying he models his life after Sponge Bob Square Pants.
“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” Jim Harbaugh? On his weekly stint on Jim Brandstatter’s show in 2016, Harbaugh announced he tried to model his life after everyone’s favorite yellow sponge.
“I love his attitude,” he said, “He attacks each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind! I’ve kind of modeled my behavior after him. We all should. What a great employee he is. He’s a go-getter. He’s always got a bounce to his step. He’s got pizzazz. He puts his heart and soul into making those crabby patties. I think he’s awesome.”
Imagine trying to live your life based on a children’s TV show character. What an odd, yet sort of profound statement from the Michigan Man.
While this isn’t the most loony thing Harbaugh has done, it still definitely deserves a mention in the top five.
4. “Who’s Got it Better Than Us?” video
Harbaugh and different members of Michigan were featured in a fan song/hype video for the Wolverines made by Bailey and Perfect Timing Productions.
The video features the Big House, the practice facility, the locker room and Harbaugh driving a Corvette on the practice field (which strangely isn’t the only time Harbaugh driving a vehicle on a Michigan field is on the list). Harbaugh’s moment to shine in the video is during the Chorus which is just him screaming, “WHO’S GOT IT BETTER THAN US?” repetitively.
This was definitely a unique tactic in trying to make Ann Arbor and Michigan an appealing place for recruits. A viral music video featuring the Harbaugh and the facilities Michigan has to offer is definitely an intriguing way of getting that done.
3. Giving the Pope a Michigan helmet
On Michigan football’s annual trip to a foreign country, the Wolverines went to the Vatican in Rome. While they were there, the team had the opportunity to sit in a mass where the Pope preached mostly in Italian. After the service, Harbaugh had the once in a lifetime chance to meet one of the most influential people in the world in Pope Francis.
And what did he do when he had the opportunity? He gave him a Michigan football helmet and a pair of Michigan shoes. It’s interesting to consider if the Pope even knew who Harbaugh was or if he knew what that the gift was from the University of Michigan. But nevertheless, it ended up being an incredible photo op and marketing material for the school and the football team.
His wife Sarah described the situation to the Detroit News saying, “I’ve never seen my husband at a loss for words...He was at a loss. He felt a true life-changing experience as well.”
Harbaugh later said, “It felt like this is what it would be like to meet Jesus Christ. That’s what it felt like to me. Very emotional.”
So basically in Harbaugh’s mind he gave Jesus Christ a Michigan football helmet. That is a pretty kooky thing to consider.
2. Donuts in the Big House
A moment of awe happened about a week ago when a video of Harbaugh doing donuts in a Dodge Demon surfaced.
Harbaugh put his driving skills to the test, doing donuts in the fancy car. I think it is safe to say this the first time that has happened in the history of the Big House.
It's a fun video, definitely check out the whole thing: pic.twitter.com/xK8OYwbfr4— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) July 9, 2018
1. Sleepovers at recruits houses.
The No. 1 thing on the list of the most absurd things Harbaugh has done is most definitely sleeping over at recruits’ houses. This has happened twice in his tenure, the first was to Michigan kicker Quinn Nordin, and the other was to current USC defensive end/linebacker Connor Murphy.
Can we just take a moment to realize how absolutely insane this notion is? This is a grown man with a wife and kids asking high schoolers if he can have a sleepover at their house.
In a story by Robby Kalland at CBS Sports, Murphy went into detail about how the night with Harbaugh went. The high schooler said, “He got to my house around 1 a.m., we ate some banana bread and drank some ice cold milk. We chatted it up probably for another hour and then hit the hay.”
He continued to say Harbaugh joined him in his English class and drove him to school. Michigan fans were there anxiously waiting in their Michigan gear for a chance to meet Harbaugh.
But the now USC Trojan had high praise for Harbaugh in this uncomfortable situation saying, “I think it really does [make a difference],” said Murphy. “Honestly Michigan is in my top five...so, yeah, just for Coach Harbaugh to come out here and do all this, it shows his dedication and passion for the game and to his recruits and what a team guy he is.”
So although Murphy did not end up in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh created a memorable moment for him in his life. Nordin, on the other hand, did find his way to U-M after he flipped from his commit to Penn State. Although it seems a preposterous way to go about recruiting, Harbaugh is 50-50 in his sleepover recruiting tactic.