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Official: Warde Manuel, Jim Harbaugh comment on signed contract extension

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 29 Michigan at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan and head football coach Jim Harbaugh have officially announced a contract extension with a release from the school dropping late Friday afternoon. According to the release, Harbaugh has signed a four-year extension that has him with the program through the 2025 season with “revised financial terms” that kick in on Jan. 11. This is rumored to be a $4 million base salary with incentives that could push it to as high as $8 million if certain goals are reached.

“I continue to believe that Jim is the right man to lead our program in pursuit of Big Ten and CFP championships,” athletic director Warde Manuel said. “Our program didn’t achieve at a level that anyone expected this year but I know those setbacks will drive the coaches, players and staff moving forward. Jim is a tireless worker and competitor. Following the completion of the season we talked for many hours on what it will take for Jim to lead and get us back on the right trajectory.

“Jim loves the University of Michigan and this football program,” added Manuel. “He has been committed to this university, athletic department and football program since his days as a player and returning in 2015 as the head coach. He wants to do everything possible to build a championship football team while graduating our student-athletes. We all need to do our part to continue to help in that pursuit as it takes everyone pulling the same direction to have a championship level program.”

“My thanks to Athletic Director Warde Manuel for the trust that he has shown in allowing me to continue to coach the University of Michigan football team, and to President Mark Schlissel and the Board of Regents for their on-going support,” Harbaugh said. “My additional thanks to Doug Gnodtke, our football staff and those departments on campus who continue to support our mission. Over the past few weeks, Warde and I had discussions that have been honest, open, insightful and constructive in moving our football program forward. Discussions that I look forward to continuing over the months and years ahead. We have a plan.

“There is work to be done and challenges to be addressed. These challenges are being addressed as we continue to strive for excellence in the classroom and championships on the field, a message that I hope is noted in the language of our agreed-upon contract.”

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 with a 2-4 record and the last three games of the year wiped out due to COVID-19.

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. Don Brown is out as defensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ben McDaniels will not be retained with other moves set to come, as well. Reports indicate that Michigan’s new defensive coordinator will be Mike Macdonald, who has spent the last seven years with the Baltimore Ravens (more on him here).