Last month Michigan head coach and his wife Sarah decided that any bonus money he’d receive during the 2021 season would be redirected to reimburse U-M athletic department employees took a voluntarily and mandatory pay cuts during the pandemic.
According to USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz, Harbaugh ends the season with a staggering $2 million in bonuses.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh ends the season with $2 million in bonuses. He has said he’ll donate that money to U-M athletics employees whose pay had been reduced due to financial concerns related to the pandemic.— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) January 1, 2022
Berkowitz went on to say that it’s the highest bonus total for a public school football coach in USA Today’s history of tracking the data.
Harbaugh's bonus total is the biggest single-season total for a public-school FB coach since USA TODAY began tracking this for the 2014 season.— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) January 1, 2022
LSU's Ed Orgeron: $1.775M, 2019
Clemson's Dabo Swinney: $1.525M in 2016
Georgia's Kirby Smart: $1.35M in 2017 https://t.co/X4YNGqnhtN
Much was made about Harbaugh taking a paycut and a pay decrease when he inked his five-year $21 million contract, which had a salary of $3.4 million in 2021 after making around $8 million previously — however, Harbaugh didn’t let his ego get in the way of his bigger goals at Michigan, and the incentives turned out to be fruitful.
Harbaugh has said that he isn’t motivated by money, saying earlier this week that he’d do the job for free because he loves it that much. Harbaugh said that the staffers have taken note of his gesture in endearing fashion.
“People have been very appreciative,” Harbaugh said this week. “I was really happy to be blessed to be in a position to be able to do that. Bo Schembechler has a saying here at Michigan. It says, ‘Those who stay will be champions,’ and it’s always resonated with me. Those that stayed through the pandemic when there was voluntary pay cuts, mandatory pay cuts, that kind of thing. ... Just to be able to reward those that stayed in that way was something that Sarah, my wife, and I wanted to do.”
Harbaugh bet on himself, and everyone won.