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Report: ‘Optimism’ that Michigan, Jim Harbaugh close to five-year extension

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This would tie him to Michigan through 2026.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines are into the new year without a new deal officially signed, but it appears that we are close to that happening. According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and The Athletic, the deal is almost done and would tie Michigan and Harbaugh together through 2026.

“SOURCE: There is optimism inside Michigan that Jim Harbaugh’s new deal will get wrapped up soon with an extension thru 2026,” he posted on Twitter.

Nick Baumgartner is also reporting hearing the same things with some details still to be ironed out.

If the details are ironed out, all that’s left is for the pen to be put to paper. Several have speculated that waiting this long gave Harbaugh time to explore his options at the NFL level with the regular season concluding this weekend, but it remains to be seen if that is a factor in this. Regardless, the program has been operating as if he will be back next season and making decisions under that assumption.

Harbaugh has a 49-22 record through six seasons on the job with three ten-win seasons (2015, 16, 18), an eight-win season (2017), a nine-win season (2019), and the 2020 campaign, which resulted in victories over Minnesota and Rutgers. Despite a 34-16 record in conference play, Harbaugh is 0-5 against the Ohio State Buckeyes and 3-3 against the Michigan State Spartans and has yet to reach the Big Ten Championship game since arriving in Ann Arbor. For the longest time, we were able to commend his tenure for beating the teams Michigan should beat, though the 2020 season was a sobering crash down to earth.

We’ll see what happens, but it appears resolution could be on the way soon.