When Jim Harbaugh was hired as the head football coach at the University of Michigan, the theory was that he was going to be in Ann Arbor a very long time.
Now, that could be even closer to being a reality.
Former Notre Dame star and college football analyst Brady Quinn was on a radio show on Tuesday and explained a rumor that Michigan is working on a lifetime contract for Harbaugh.
Here’s the full quote, courtesy of 97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Sullivan:
The timing of this is curious with people up in arms and upset of the team’s performance this season. There have been unfounded rumors of Harbaugh returning to the NFL or being interested in another college job, so perhaps this would be a way to put that to rest.
People will see the term “lifetime contract” and freak out, thinking that it means they are locked into Harbaugh until his coaching career is over.
Well, that is kind of the idea, and what Michigan needs to happen because they aren’t really going to do much better at head coach.
The argument can already be made that he is already locked in until he’s done because Michigan is not going to fire him. It just is not going to happen and will never happen. He was their golden goose when he was hired and nothing has changed that.
Michigan has had a ton working against them this year, some of it self-inflicted, yet it still staring a possible 9 or 10 win season in the face in what one would think is as bad as it will get for this staff (maybe, hopefully for their sake).
Fans do not want to hear “wait until next year,” but 2018 is going to determine what this program is going to be under Harbaugh. Are they a group that will lose three or four games a year like the later stages of the Lloyd Carr era, or will they get back to winning the Big Ten, and heck, maybe even make the College Football Playoff?
It is worth every penny to Michigan to keep him around and keep him happy from a business standpoint, especially with interest annually with someone at least checking his availability. And if a lifetime deal comes with a raise, these three-plus loss seasons would be a massive disappointment.
Harbaugh is the coach, and he is going to be for a long time as long as they wheels do not fall off (which they have not this year, contrary to belief). But if he is here, the cries for winning big will get even louder.
A lifetime contract does not change that because that already sort of feels like the arrangement.
At the end of the day, this is a rumor and Quinn may or may not be a reliable source of information. It is an interesting report, nonetheless.