Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh signed an extension with the university last week and he’s getting back to work and assembling his 2021 staff. Michigan’s hired Mike Hart as running backs coach, it’s been reported Ravens linebackers coach Mike Macdonald will be U-M’s next defensive coordinator, and other vacant positions need to be filled.
Speaking virtually at the annual Michigan High School Coaches Association clinic, Harbaugh said that staff announcements will be coming soon. “I can’t make any announcements yet, until things are signed,” Harbaugh said. “But I’m very close to making all of those moves.”
Harbaugh touched on a variety of subjects at the clinic, including specific goals he has for himself in 2021.
Jim Harbaugh is speaking at the annual Michigan High School Football Coaches Association clinic this morning.— Aaron McMann (@AaronMcMann) January 15, 2021
His personal goals for 2021: pic.twitter.com/jfKYY4rUKb
1. Raise all those with whom I come in contact. Put players and staff in position to be successful in life and in football.
2. Create an atmosphere in the work place that supports teamwork, friendship and winning (an atmosphere that brings joy each day become to work).
3. Develop and administer a process (Plan) that supports TEAM success and winning.
4. Be a member of the 2021 Big Ten and National Champion Michigan Football Team.
5. Treat others as I would want to be treated and create a personal relationship with all those I come in contact.
6. Do not be scared of any man, moment, circumstance, or of being fired.
“I will make no decisions based on my own personal job security,” Harbaugh said. “They will all be made in what is the best interest of our players and our football team.”
All of the goals Harbaugh listed are to be expected from him. These goals are a reflection of the type of ideology he consistently promotes and the environment within the football program he strives to create. What is outwardly different this time around on his goal list is he’s making clear he’s not afraid of being fired. It sounds like Harbaugh’s getting that out in the open right now before further talk of his potential demise circulates and regurgitates. Harbaugh’s focus seems to be on getting the right pieces in place on staff to have a respectable, and ideally, honorable 2021 season.
Not being scared of any man, circumstance, or of getting fired isn’t defeatism from Harbaugh. It’s him saying he’s going to attempt to tackle his problems head on and face them with his chin up instead of creating a downward spiral and making 2021 an extension of a bad 2020 season. The rules, and goals have changed.
Harbaugh took a sizable pay cut to stay at Michigan, there isn’t much buyout money in his latest contract. Harbaugh told the media last year that his actions would speak louder than his words when it came to his loyalty to Michigan. While there have been some perceived twists and turns in the relationship, not many coaches would have signed the type of deal that takes you from the highest paid coach in the Big Ten to one of the lowest paid. Harbaugh’s actions say he doesn’t really care about job security, what he does care about is getting back to work, winning, and putting 2020 behind him and the program.
“It will be a joy to coach this team,” Harbaugh said at the clinic. “It’s a young, talented team. Sometimes that’s the best team to coach, because young and not talented would not be a joy to coach. And sometimes (with) older and talented there’s other distractions.”