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Report: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan near deal to keep him as head coach with lower base salary

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The Michigan football program has apparently picked its direction.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Michigan vs South Carolina Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The future of the Michigan Wolverines football program was put on the shelf until the season was over by athletic director Warde Manuel and head coach Jim Harbaugh and it has only continued to drag out over the last month or so. However, it appears we are nearing resolution on the matter. First reported by Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News, Harbaugh and Michigan have a five-year extension in place that would pay him a base salary of $4 million per season with incentives that could earn him an $8 million salary. The buyout number is expected to be low.

Harbaugh has not signed the deal as of this posting. but Baumgardner says he is expected to in the next few days.

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.

And now comes a reboot for Michigan with so many young faces expected to get playing time in 2021 with a staff that will be overhauled. The first domino to drop was the dismissal of defensive coordinator Don Brown, who was hired by Arizona as its new defensive coordinator on Thursday.

This story is developing.