Head coach Jim Harbaugh has taken the Michigan Wolverines to heights that no coach ever has in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines went 15-0 for the first time in the history of the Big Ten, winning the Rose Bowl and the National Championship in the process.
But all good things eventually come to an end. Harbaugh is returning to the NFL and is signing a contract to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Harbaugh interviewed with the Chargers just one week after Michigan won the National Championship in Houston. He also had an interview with the Atlanta Falcons a couple days later for their head coaching job.
The writing was on the wall that Harbaugh had strong interest in the NFL this offseason. He hired Don Yee — a renowned agent who primarily works with NFL coaches and players, including Tom Brady — late last year to work on his contract negotiations. After rumors swirled that a contract was on the table for Harbaugh to sign a midseason, that never came to fruition following the Connor Stalions sign-stealing bonanza. The contract extension was reportedly put on hold in order for the investigation to go through its process.
That snag in the road opened up Yee to work behind the scenes for Harbaugh to potentially return to the NFL. Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press in early January that Yee had been “working hard” on his future, and considering Harbaugh also said he hadn’t had time to talk to him during that time period, it’s likely that Yee had been working hard on this even before the season was over.
After dealing with the wrath of the NCAA (and his own conference), on top of winning Michigan a national championship while countless significant contributors also left for the NFL via the draft, it feels like the right time for Harbaugh to pursue a Super Bowl.
During his nine-year run in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh went 86-25 overall and 63-17 in Big Ten games. He won 10+ games in six out of those nine* seasons. Even though he was suspended for those final three games, the university is crediting him as the head coach for the 1,000th program victory — which happened at Maryland — as well as the wins over Penn State and Ohio State.
*Depending on how you look at it, it could be six out of eight seasons if you factor in Michigan only playing six games in 2020.
The Wolverines are national champs and three-peat Big Ten champs, but there’s no doubt that next season is going to be drastically different. Whether it’s Moore who takes over or somebody else, hopefully the next head ball coach can keep this train rolling into the new era of the Big Ten and college football.
As for Harbaugh, I will personally be rooting for him to find success once again at the pro level. He was able to do it with the San Francisco 49ers in pretty quick fashion, and there’s no reason to doubt he can do it again with the Chargers. Hopefully he finds what he is looking for, is ultimately happy with his decision, and is able to guide them to aSuper Bowl.
We will keep you up to date on everything related to Michigan’s head coaching search as soon as more information is available.