Michigan faithful have nothing to worry about, as no deal materialized and Penner was doing his “due diligence” to talk with the Michigan head coach in person. He has done the same thing with seven other candidates in his search for Denver’s next head coach.
Just 12 days earlier, Harbaugh reaffirmed his commitment to stay in Ann Arbor. Michigan president Santa Ono announced the news on his social media account:
I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim shared with me the great news that he is going to remain as the Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines. That is fantastic news that I have communicated to our Athletic Director Warde Manuel. #GoBlue! pic.twitter.com/3LJzsv4zN9— Santa Ono (@SantaJOno) January 16, 2023
Harbaugh had a statement of his own saying, “I love the relationships that I have at Michigan — coaches, staff, families, administration, president Santa Ono and especially the players and their families... My heart is at the University of Michigan.”
This was the second consecutive offseason Harbaugh flirted with the NFL. In 2022, he met in-person with leadership from the Minnesota Vikings. The speculation of a return to the big leagues has surrounded much of his career to this point in Ann Arbor.
However, the largest nugget for Michigan fans came at the end of Schefter’s story as an end may finally be in sight.
“One league source predicted this week that the league will move on, and Harbaugh is not likely to have many NFL options in the future.”
This ongoing story has flip-flopped so many times that who knows what the future holds. For at least 2023, it appears, the drama has come to a close as this may have been a last-ditch effort for the Broncos to check in on Harbaugh’s interest for their opening.