Jim Harbaugh to continue as football coach at UM
Harbaugh and UM have not reached an agreement to extend the contract, but both sides plan to work on a new deal this week, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as details of the negotiations were not disclosed.
In February last year, Harbaugh agreed to a revised five-year deal with UM, running through the 2026 season. That deal came two weeks after Harbaugh’s interview for the head coaching position with the Minnesota Vikings.
In 2021, Harbaugh took a big pay cut after the Wolverines went 2-4 in the pandemic-cut 2020 season. Michigan bounced back in the 2021 season, winning the Big Ten for the first time since 2004 and earning the Ann Arbor-based school’s first bid for the College Football Playoffs.
The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers spoke to Harbaugh this month about their head coaching opportunities, and he was mentioned as a potential candidate for the Indianapolis Colts, one of four teams he played quarterback for in the league from 1987-2000 after winning a Star for the was wolverines.
On Signing Day last year, Harbaugh interviewed the Vikings before they instead targeted Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell for the job posting.
Harbaugh has been tied to many other NFL jobs during most offseasons since returning to his alma mater in 2015 to manage the football team.
After years of failing to beat rival Ohio State, he has helped Michigan beat the Buckeyes and win the Big Ten title back-to-back years.
However, the Wolverines failed to win their first national championship since 1997, losing to TCU and Georgia in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs.
Harbaugh seems poised for more success, at least in the conference, as All-America running back Blake Corum returns to a backfield with running back Donovan Edwards and quarterback JJ McCarthy.
Harbaugh, the 2011 AP NFL Coach of the Year and AP College Coach of the Year a decade later, seemed intrigued by the league’s allure this winter as well.
From 2011 to 2014, he coached the San Francisco 49ers, winning two NFC West titles and making the NFC championship game three times in four seasons. He was 44-19-1 during that span and a decade ago helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl where they lost by three points to the Baltimore Ravens led by his brother John.
Jim Harbaugh left the 49ers to turn Michigan over after an 8-8 run in 2014 — the only season the 49ers didn’t make it into the postseason under him.
Harbaugh, 59, has a 74-25 record in eight seasons with the Wolverines, who went 13-0 that season before being beaten in a sloppy game by the TCU Horned Frogs on Dec. 31. Harbaugh also spent four seasons as head coach at Stanford and three more at San Diego.
As he enters his ninth year in Michigan, he appears to be dealing with an NCAA investigation into possible rule violations.
The investigation is believed to involve improper texts and calls — including some from Harbaugh — to high school prospects during part of a pandemic-related death period for contact with potential recruits, a person with knowledge of the situation told the AP.
The NCAA was also looking into whether a member of the Michigan off-field football team broke the rules by practicing on the field during practice, and whether Harbaugh spoke up, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity, since Michigan officials did not make details of the investigation public.
— Crain’s Detroit Business contributed to this report.